Appointment of Engineer (B103)

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Who can use this contract?

This Appointment of Engineer is designed for use by an engineer when appointed to provide engineering services to a client.  It is in a user-friendly format.

What is this contract for?

This Appointment of Engineer is based on a form that the author prepared some years ago for a medium-sized firm of engineers who were unhappy with their own institutions form of appointment as it was too complicated and too restrictive for their clients.  The terms and conditions are in a schedule and our document includes those terms and conditions in a one page format which can be sent out to clients when tendering for engineering.services.

What are the main issues?

Setting out the services to be provided as well as the fees & expenses is always important.

Change & Additional services.  If the engineer considers that the client is asking for services outsde the agreed scope, the contract needs wording to deal with this – and it can be useful to have the rates for additional services set out in the pricing schedule.

Client information: As an engineering consultant is dependent in many respects on getting information from the client so as not to delay a project, the appointment needs wording to deal with this.

Copyright belongs to the engineer  The client has a licence to use the documents supplied by the engineer for the the project but not for any other purpose.

Insurance: The level of professional indemnity insurance maintained by the engineer should be stated.

Liability: our form limits theengineer’s liability for negligence to the amount recoverable under their insurance policy.  There is also a “net contribution” provision so as to avoid the risk of the professional becoming liable for a problem caused by some third-party on the project.

Termination: both parties have the right to terminate in certain circumstances.

What detailed terms does the contract contain?

There is a one-page form of agreement, a schedule to be completed with the services, and another schedule for the fees and expenses, plus three pages of short clauses containing the terms and conditions.  Here are the clause headings:

  • Agreement
  • Duration
  • Standard of Care
  • Timeliness
  • Reporting
  • Key Personnel
  • Fees & Payment
  • Changes
  • Copyright
  • Insurance
  • liability
  • Termination
  • Suspension
  • Confidentiality
  • Assignment and Subcontracting
  • Disputes and Law
  • Notices

For more information on each of these sections, see our Explanatory Notes below which you will also receive when you download the document from our website.

For information on signing documents see our Contract Signing page

When I download the document, can I change it and/or use it more than once?

Yes, all ContractStore’s templates are in MS Word and you can use the contract on more than one project. For more information, watch the video on this page of our website or see our FAQs

Legal support

ContractStore supplies templates and is not a law firm.  But experienced lawyers write all our templates, so we can arrange legal assistance for customers who need special terms in one of our documents or a bespoke template. . For more information see our Legal Services page.  For more information see our Legal Services page.

Contract Author – Giles Dixon

And if you want to contact us see our Contacts page.

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Explanatory Notes

Engineers are usually members of a professional institute that publishes forms of appointment for use by their members.  While those forms  have benefits, they tend to be complex.  ContractStore’s specialist construction solicitor has prepared a short form of appointment that is more client-friendly while containing adequate protection for the engineer.

This comprises of a one page letter addressed to the client, a three page set of Terms of Business and two template Schedules, one of which will itemise the services  and the other will set out the fees and expenses. Our fees schedule contains sample forms of wording.

A few comments on these documents.

Letter Agreement.
This contains some short paragraphs highlighting the key elements of the appointment and referring to the schedules, when appropriate, which will detail the services, fees etc.  The letter should be prepared in duplicate with both copies sent to the client. The client is asked in the letter to counter-sign and return one copy. Once this is done, a binding contract will be created.  If the client comes back with comments, then it will usually be sensible to issue a revised letter incorporating any agreed changes.

Terms of Business
There are 18 short paragraphs, most of which should be self-explanatory.

Paragraph 7 dealing with fees and payment is designed to comply with English legal requirements with regard to the payment terms under construction contracts.  Our template assumes monthly payments with a payment application being submitted by the seventh of each month and the final date for payment on the 28th of the month. Any variations can be dealt with the payment schedule which contains options for a fixed fee and time-based fees as well as expenses.  There is also a paragraph which allows for a fee increase after 12 months and this needs to be adjusted to meet your particular requirements.

Paragraph 8 deals with changes. It provides that no change will be implemented until the price (and, when relevant, the time implications) has been agreed.

Paragraph 9 reserves copyright in designs etc. with the consultant while the client is given a licence to use them for the project but not for any other purpose.

Paragraph 10 deals with professional indemnity insurance and the amount of cover needs to be inserted.   Also, there is an optional sentence dealing with contamination and other risks where the insurance cover is sometimes limited.

Paragraph 11 limits the consultant’s liability. In our form, the liability is linked to the amount recoverable under the professional indemnity insurance up to an overall maximum that you should insert. There is also a “net contribution” provision in the second paragraph of this section.

Paragraph 12 is fairly standard, giving each party the right to terminate in certain circumstances.

Paragraph 13 gives the consultant the right to suspend work if payment is not made on time.  This is a statutory right in the UK and the wording of the statute is reflected here.

Paragraph 14 deals with confidentiality but it does allow the consultant to publish information for marketing purposes, after getting the client’s approval.

Paragraph 15 allows the consultant to sublet work but neither party can assign their interests without the other’s consent.

Paragraph 16 Disputes and Law provides for adjudication – in our case the ICE procedure is used since this is popular with engineers. Disputes that are not settled by adjudication will be referred to the courts.

Most professional consultants in the construction and engineering industries have a professional body that regulates their affairs and, in many cases, issues standard forms of appointment for the profession. Those forms can often be lengthy and in some cases difficult for clients to understand. The last thing a client – especially a client that is not a property developer- wants to receive when discussing a new project is a 25 page contract. The more enlightened consultants are aware of this and prefer a more straightforward approach which nonetheless protects their interests. But there are not many short forms available.

ContractStore has, therefore, produced a new form of professional appointment which has been prepared by a specialist construction lawyer for the company.  This consists of a one page letter addressed to the client, a three page set of Terms of Business and two template Schedules, one of which will contain the detailed scope of services to be provided and the other will set out the fees and expenses. Our fees schedule contains sample alternative wording.

In addition, the Terms of Business is included in a one-page, two column format. You can use this either as a separate document or it can be printed on the back of an invoice.

Some comments on these documents.

Letter Agreement.
This contains some short paragraphs highlighting the key elements of the appointment and referring to the schedules, when appropriate, which will detail the services, fees etc.  The letter should be prepared in duplicate with both copies sent to the client. The client is asked in the letter to counter-sign and return one copy. Once this is done, a binding contract will be created.  If the client comes back with comments, then it will usually be sensible to issue a revised letter incorporating any agreed changes.

Terms of Business
There are 18 short paragraphs, most of which should be self-explanatory.

Paragraph 7 dealing with fees and payment is designed to comply with English legal requirements with regard to the payment terms under construction contracts.  Our template assumes monthly payments with a payment application being submitted by the seventh of each month and the final date for payment on the 28th of the month. Any variations can be dealt with the payment schedule which contains options for a fixed fee and time-based fees as well as expenses.  There is also a paragraph which allows for a fee increase after 12 months and this needs to be adjusted to meet your particular requirements.

Paragraph 8 deals with changes. It provides that no change will be implemented until the price (and, when relevant, the time implications) has been agreed.

Paragraph 9 reserves copyright in designs etc. with the consultant while the client is given a licence to use them for the project but not for any other purpose.

Paragraph 10 deals with professional indemnity insurance and the amount of cover needs to be inserted.   Also, there is an optional sentence dealing with contamination and other risks where the insurance cover is sometimes limited.

Paragraph 11 limits the consultant’s liability. In our form, the liability is linked to the amount recoverable under the professional indemnity insurance up to an overall maximum that you should insert. There is also a “net contribution” provision in the second paragraph of this section.

Paragraph 12 is fairly standard, giving each party the right to terminate in certain circumstances.

Paragraph 13 gives the consultant the right to suspend work if payment is not made on time.  This is a statutory right in the UK and the wording of the statute is reflected here.

Paragraph 14 deals with confidentiality but it does allow the consultant to publish information for marketing purposes, after getting the client’s approval.

Paragraph 15 allows the consultant to sublet work but neither party can assign their interests without the other’s consent.

Paragraph 16 Disputes and Law provides for adjudication – in our case the ICE procedure is used since this is popular with engineers. Disputes that are not settled by adjudication will be referred to the courts.