Many firms are issuing notice or qualifications to their clients concerning current COVID . We thought it might helpful to our members if we asked a member firm to share its approach to these notifications for the reference other CAA members.
DIALOG agreed to share its messaging on the strict understanding that these terms have been prepared for the exclusive use of DIALOG. If others use or rely upon the information contained in this Practice Bulletin, they do so at their own risk and neither DIALOG nor the Consulting Architects of Alberta accepts any responsibility or liability whatsoever for such use or reliance. In addition, members are cautioned to seek the advice of their insurers and legal counsel.
Those that choose to employ these notifications are expected to develop and edit them to suit specific client and project circumstances. These letters would also incorporate an industry standard definition of Force Majeure that clearly covers stoppage for epidemics and quarantine.
DIALOG’s messaging is as follows:
New Clients, Contracts and Proposals
Factors Outside of (DESIGN FIRM)’s Control or Force Majeure
Where the Scope of Basic Services and/or Project Schedule is affected by factors outside of the control of (DESIGN FIRM), including force majeure, the fee and schedule for these services will be appropriately adjusted and the increase may be deemed to be Additional Services.
In the event of factors outside the control of (DESIGN FIRM), including force majeure, (DESIGN FIRM) will not be responsible for any failure to perform its obligations under this Agreement, (DESIGN FIRM)may at any time, in its sole and absolute discretion suspend Service without penalty and/or terminate this Agreement and, (DESIGN FIRM) may at any time, in consultation with the Client, modify or alter the means by which it delivers the Scope of Services.
Where the contract is based on a Client’s form of Agreement, there may be provisions within the client’s terms requiring notice to be given in a specific format in order to be accepted and valid. Please review all such agreements and respond accordingly.
Secondly, on ALL current projects, including those using (DESIGN FIRM) standard terms and regardless of a contractual obligation to do so, a notice letter should be issued, incorporating the following language. Edit the letter to address project specific circumstances.
As you are aware the current COVID-19 situation is creating a great deal of uncertainty in Canada and beyond. Various levels of government have declared a public health emergency and have issued advisories and directives to address this situation. These advisories and directives are changing rapidly and will continue to evolve in the future.
This letter is to notify you that COVID-19 has the potential to impact the delivery of our professional services, and as well the overall schedule of construction which may entitle (DESIGN FIRM) and its sub-consultants to claim relief in terms of both schedule and costs (in the form of additional fees).
(if we have received letters from sub consultants they can be referenced and included here).
We will continue to work together with you and other project participants in a collaborative manner to mitigate the potential impacts of the COVID-19 situation on the project. It is difficult at this juncture to provide particulars of the potential impacts, but we will keep you informed as matters develop.
We will continue to communicate with as circumstances change and develop. If you wish to discuss this letter, please contact us at your convenience.