Generally when we speak of consultants, we mean professionals with a particular expertise and experience that will provide services to a builder or developer during a construction project.
A developer and/or builder do not have all the necessary skills they need in order to complete a development. Various consultants will be needed to assist in this regard.
These might be engineers or architects, surveyors, tree consultants or heritage consultants, or any number of qualified professionals required for a particular task for a project.
The person who engages a consultant, whether the developer or builder, is referred to as the Principal.
It is important to ensure any such Consultant Agreement is prepared and negotiated properly and diligently, as poorly drafted, or poorly understood agreements can lead to delays and costly disputes.
We can prepare or negotiate Consultant Agreements for the Principal, or for the consultant. In a general sense, Consultant Agreements set out the nature of the agreement between the parties, their rights, obligations, responsibilities and the scope of work agreed between them.
Consultant Agreements will also outline the payment terms and how they will be made, whether on a regular basis or in stages. They will also deal with the issue of copyright and use of the work or plans produced by the consultant. Other items such as how and when a Principal must provide instructions and what happens in the event of delayed instructions, or delayed work by the consultant will also be addressed.
Importantly also, there will generally be clauses relating to defects or errors in work by a consultant and the obligation to rectify these, as well as the insurances required.
A Consultant Agreement may be for a specific period or task, or for an extended period from pre DA, to DA, to CC onwards and the Consultant Agreement will need to be specific as to any ongoing scope of works and obligations as between the parties.
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