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Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

I'm in the process of starting a consulting business (just me with my wife helping out with the administrative stuff) and was wondering what others used for contract documents. ASCE and ACEC have template documents but they seem pretty expensive. Any advise?

RE: Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

We have a standard document that we have created and had our lawyers review.  Do you have a copy of an AIA, ASCE, or ACEC document you could use as a guide?  Due to copyright laws, you cant just copy it, but you should be able to use it as a guide to create your own.  We did this as a "terms and conditions" sheet which we attach to our proposals.  

Are you going to work mostly with Architects as a sub?  If so, they may make you sign their AIA agreement anyway.

RE: Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

I went through the cost and effort of developing a pro forma contract and have not had a single client willing to even look at it, let alone execute it--they all have their own Master Service Agreement that they expect me to sign without modification.  Usually they're alright.  If they're not then I pass on doing the work (one of them said that I couldn't work for anyone using competing products for 3 years even though rhis contract is <1% of my business and the people who I couldn't work for under the contract are over 99%)..


RE: Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

I invested in the EJCDC documents through NSPE and my E&O insurance company (XL) provided me a nice document on provisions to consider.  The advantage of the AIA/EJCDC documents is the coordination between your agreement with the owner and the owner's agreement(s) with contractors.

Don Phillips

RE: Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

Thanks to all for the info and advice. In response:
1. I don't have any of the template documents but would purchase and modify them as necessary.
2. While I do have a good friend who is an architect and will do some light commercial with him, I intend to restrict my exposure to architects, God bless 'em, and concentrate on  public works projects.

Other questions:

I understand that there are occasions where you "exchange" contracts - say between yourself as a consultant and an owner or governmental agency. Is this correct?

I've a friend who uses XL and have noted them as being very helpful. How much does the professional liability insurance company assist in the preparation of contract documents?

Thanks again.


RE: Consulting Engineer Contract Documents

Yes, sometimes you trade contract versions until you agree.  Typically, one party starts with their base document and you modify it.

I have not used XL contract review service but I understand they point out areas of concern so you can negotiate with your client for a more favorable contract.

Don Phillips

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