This Quantity Surveyor Appointment is written from the professional’s point of view but is fairly balanced and is an easy document for clients to understand. Written in plain English, it can also be used by an Estimator or Project Manager.
The Appointment comprises a short one page letter template plus 3 pages of Terms & Conditions and two Schedules, one for services the other for fees. There is also a small print version of the T&Cs on one page which can be used when submitting a quote to a client. The detailed services and fees need to be inserted in the Schedules attached.
The Terms of Business cover the usual professional appointment issues including duration, standard of care, copyright, insurance and a clause limiting liability.
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Quantity Surveyors and other professionals often use their own professional institute’s forms of appointment. While these can be useful, sometimes they are not easy for clients to understand. We have developed a template that is user-friendly and has Terms of Business that can fit onto a single A4 page – so much easier than a multi-page document that a client, especially one who is not a property developer, can find difficult to understand.
ContractStore’s construction professional appointment has been written by a specialist construction lawyer. It comprises a one page letter addressed to the client, Terms of Business over 3 pages and two template Schedules, one for the detailed services and the other for the fees and expenses (with sample wording).
And the Terms of Business come with a single page version on small print.
Some comments on these documents.
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 RICS procedure is used since this is popular with surveyors. Disputes that are not settled by adjudication will be referred to the courts.