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Competence through Specialization

Architect and Engineer Law

In the law of architecture and engineering, we are recognized experts.  Architecture and engineering law is a specialist matter, particularly in the treatment of contracts and fees.

The subject matter of the contract is usually a unique construction, as each building is subject to particular requirements.  At the outset of a contract, much of the architect´s and engineer´s services often can be described but roughly.  The peculiarity of these contracts has implications in the determination of the actual substance of contract performance, on the services covered in the agreed fee, and in the liability for breaches of duty.  Through many years of consulting experience, we have a special and profound knowledge in the design of architect and engineer contracts and offer pragmatic solutions to problematic cases.

The special matter of HOAI (fee structure imposed on architects and engineers) is a factor in a disproportionate number of cases.  Through precise knowledge of the various schemes and the relevant case law, we can provide individualized advice. 

Our range of consulting services covers the following areas:

Architect and Engineering Contracts

The contract for an architect's services is directed towards future performance, and can be designed only in outline form at the time of conclusion of the contract.  The nature of such contract has implications in determining the scope of the obligations of the architect and engineer when considering the covered services and with regards to legal liability.

We apply our special skills in these areas to design favorable contracts or support our clients’ requirements during the contract negotiation.

HOAI

With respect to HOAI 2013, new opportunities and scope have arrived.  We advise clients in particular on the falling below or exceeding the minimum rate, with the agreement of flat fees or the correct procedure in the event of delays to the project.

Liability

An additional focus of our firm is the liability of architects and engineers. We have many years of experience with regard to the liability-prone areas in the architecture and engineering business, and draw on this experience when drafting contracts.

We have expert knowledge on the practices of leading insurance companies based on many years of intensive cooperation.  We advise our clients on proper behavior when coverage levels are exceeded, and as to strategy for insolvency and rights of recourse.

Architect copyright

Building is not just a private matter, it is a matter of the design of a public space.  Architecture is environmental design.  The architect and developer publish a piece of their personality.  With successful architecture, the architect not only provides a functional building, but also creates a piece of decorative art.

The interests of the owner and architect are perfectly aligned only in an ideal world.  Interests often evolve in different directions over time.  The architect desires to preserve its work while the client wants to adapt it to its requirements.  Increased demands on the client, such as the expansion of a product line, may require the extension of the factory floor.  Through modernization or rehabilitation a change of the façade may be unavoidable.  Subsequent owners may have differing aesthetic values and may wish to modify the architecture. 

Unless copyright protection is retained, the right to restrict the owners’ use of a building is a sensitive matter. It is possible to provide for this contractually, but not everything can be controlled.

Our consulting services includes, among other things:

  • Examining the possibility of copyright protection for buildings
  • Advising on the granting of the use and sale of rights to copyrighted buildings
  • To define the limits of moral rights, in particular the scope of permissible modifications
  • The enforcement of tangible and intangible damage claims
  • Representation before the ordinary courts and in arbitration