Design-Build University for Consulting Engineers

Join Donovan Hatem and ACEC/MA at Design-Build for Consulting Engineers

2 Sessions: July 14 + July 20: (Register for 1 or Both Sessions)
7:30 AM: Registration, Hot Breakfast | 8 – 10:30 AM Program
MHA Conference Center, 500 District Ave, Burlington, MA (with Zoom option)

Please contact for more information and the form to register

July 14:  Design/Build:  Professional Liability Risk For Consulting Engineers

•  David J. Hatem, PC, Donovan Hatem
•  Paul Kelley, Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

Design-Build (“DB”) continues to progress as the delivery method of choice for many public owners – federal, state and local on infrastructure projects.  Those owners find attractive the ability to (a) contract on a fixed price basis with a design builder who is responsible for both design and construction and (b) transfer substantial risk – traditionally retained by the owner – to that design-builder.

Many Design Builders respond to Owner DB RFPs with aggressive pricing proposal and sometimes unrealistic assumptions and expectations as to the details of (post-award) final design development details and construction cost.

What do these owner objectives and Design-Builder practices in DB procurement and contracting mean for the professional liability risk of consulting engineers engaged as (the “Consulting Engineer”) subconsultants to the Design-Builder?

That question and its answer will be the focus of this session.

Learning Objectives
  • How price and risk allocation terms of a prime DB contract between the Owner and Design-Builder impact professional liability.
  • What are the principal areas of professional liability risk and claims for the Consulting Engineer in DB?
  • What has been he professional liability claims experience for Consulting Engineers in DB?
  • What are recommended contracting and other practices for Consulting Engineers to improve management of professional liability risk in DB?

July 20:  Effective Teaming  Agreements Between Design-Builders and Consulting Engineers in Design-Build

  • David J. Hatem, PC, Donovan Hatem
  • Gwen P. Weisberg, Donovan Hatem
  • Laurie Toscano, Weston & Sampson, Inc.
  • Thomas Roach, HDR, Inc.

A substantial number of the more significant professional liability claims asserted by Design-Builders against their Consulting Engineer subconsultant in Design-Build (“DB”) arise out services performed by the Consulting Engineer during the procurement, or pursuit, pre-award phase of a DB project.  The ability to effectively manage, limit and defend professional liability risk of the Consulting Engineer in that high frequency and severity context often depends upon the understandings, scope and terms of the Consulting Engineer’s engagement during that phase – i.e., a “Teaming” (or “Phase I”) Agreement.

This session will focus on the reasons why such a Teaming (or “Phase I”) Agreement is essential in DB.

Learning Objectives
  • What are the types and experience as to risks and claims that confront a Consulting Engineer arising out of pre-award services?
  • What particular terms should be included in a Teaming Agreement to manage and limit professional liability risk of the Consulting Engineer in the context of pre-award services?
  • How should the terms or “survival” of a Teaming Agreement relate to a subsequent Design Services (or “Phase II”) Agreement upon award of a DB Contract.