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Betting the Firm: Managing the Risks of Indemnity Clauses in Professional Services Agreements

Code: 13758-DL

List Price:  $0.00

List Price:  $299.00

Member Price:  $199.00

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In the high-stakes game of contracting for professional services, indemnity clauses can be a “bet the firm” proposition when they shift uninsurable, uncontrollable risks onto the design team. Recent case law has further stacked the deck against design professionals. Our distinguished expert will help you assess the risks of indemnity clauses, propose reasonable alternatives, know when to walk away – and when to run.

Most professional services contracts drafted by clients include an indemnity clause. Sometimes it represents a reasonable allocation of risk to both parties, but too often the indemnity clause is a mechanism for shifting risks to the design team that they can neither control nor insure. Recent court decisions have stacked the deck further against design professionals. ACEC Members will want to stay abreast of these developments and hone their abilities to assess the risks represented by indemnity clauses and negotiate for fairer terms that are more likely to be covered by professional liability insurance.

Indemnity clauses in professional services agreements can turn into “bet the firm” propositions when claims and problems arise, particularly when a design professional takes on the uninsurable obligation to “defend” the client against claims, or assumes liability for risks it cannot control. In this session, participants will learn to identify and evaluate the risk represented by indemnity clause language, including the risk that it will not be covered by professional liability insurance. Armed with this knowledge, they will be able to make sound choices about whether or not to accept these risks, and be able to propose alternatives to clauses that represent a level of risk that the firm deems unacceptable.

Learning Objectives:

Identify and evaluate the risks represented by common client-drafted indemnity clauses.

Formulate and deploy strategies for avoiding or mitigating unacceptable contract risks.

Recognize indemnity clauses that are unlikely to be covered by professional liability insurance, and propose alternative language that is more likely to fall within policy coverage.

Understand the impact of recent court cases on the interpretation of indemnity clauses, and craft contract language to avoid unintended and unfavorable interpretations.
Product Details:
Author(s): Erger Karen

Year Published: 2014

Number of Pages: 33
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