Contract Corner #13 - Dispute Resolution

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Member firms have identified numerous concerns with the many forms of non-standard agreements that are prevalent.  This week’s issue is Dispute Resolution.

Agreements provide for many different dispute resolution mechanisms, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or court action.  These are not always appropriate to the situation.  Arbitration is generally not favoured by the providers of professional liability insurance.

ACEC 31 provides some alternate wording for problematic clauses.  For examples of suitable clauses you can present to clients as alternatives for “Dispute Resolution”, see GC 15.

Members should feel free to bring their concerns to ACEC-BC by emailing an example of the onerous clause in question, describe its impact on engineering firms and provide a recommendation for action.  Where you may not have any recommendations, ACEC-BC will consult with the Business Practices Committee and others to develop a response to the client over ACEC-BC letterhead.

For more information on contract language visit

The Board of Directors of ACEC-BC has identified unfair contracts and onerous clauses as serious problems facing the consulting engineering community. Over the coming months, “Contract Corner” will provide some ideas and guidance on these issues.

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