Parties to construction contracts must pay careful attention to the wording of warranties, warns Chris Holwell


Many construction and engineering contracts require the contractor to design and build. In standard form contracts drafted by industry bodies, such as Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) or NEC3 contracts, these obligations are normally well defined and separated.

Building works are to be carried out in a good and workmanlike manner, using materials that are of merchantable quality and fit for their intended purpose, and design work is to be carried out with the reasonable skill and care to be expected of an appropriately qualified professional designer (such as an architect or engineer).

Design insurance policies (i.e. professional indemnity), which design and build contractors have to maintain, are geared to a...

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