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Last edited 02 Feb 2021
Risks in fees and appointments
- To encourage efficiency by receiving complete information.
- To promote the start of a trustworthy business relationship.
It is important to understand exactly what it is that the client requires. Any confusion in the briefing stage can lead to abortive work later on when a redesign is needed. Understanding the full scope of works is essential to charge the appropriate fee along with any premiums for additional services such as taking on the role of lead designer.
Regular invoices, preferably on a monthly basis help to maintain a positive cash flow. RIBA Standard form of appointment contains fundamental terms of payment along with methods of dispute resolution in order to collet fees which are due.
 Scenario: Procurement route
If the large scale nature of a project means it is likely to be procured using design and build in order to limit the overall project costs, then a contractor can be appointed early to help negotiate a fixed price to the construction costs.
 Scenario: Specialists' input
If the practice feels the services required are beyond their expertise, they may choose to sub-let the work to specialist sub-consultants and this will need to be clearly stated within the contract documentation. The client’s permission should be requested before appointing the sub consultant. A collateral warrant should be considered between the specialist and the client in order to protect the clients investment. The sub consultant appointment should be back-to-back with the architect's appointment.
The practice should ensure an adequate level of professional indemnity insurance cover is maintained. The RIBA standard form of appointment includes provisions for adequate PII cover. PII is likely to be invalid if no contract is in place.
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