from the desk of Nahom Gebre
When reviewing contracts, it is best to have clear, concise language that describes your roles and responsibilities. It is important to remember that the written agreement should reflect actual roles and responsibilities. In a recent contract review, we came across a clause that stated that the engineer will be responsible for the “results” of their services. It was not clear from the clause what results the engineer was responsible for achieving.
It is reasonable to be responsible for the results of your negligence in the performance of professional services; but the clause simply said that the engineer would be responsible for the “results” of their services without providing further guidance. From a risk management standpoint, it is important to carefully review your client-drafted contracts so that you can clarify these types of ambiguities. Contract drafters often advise that important clauses should be stated once in the contract, and stated very clearly, so that you avoid any ambiguity about your responsibility by addressing the issue more than once.