Ninth edition includes updated content and new chapters on contract risks related to Resilient Design, Force Majeure, and Lien Rights

EXTON, Pa., Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — To help architects, engineers and other design professional clients craft strong contracts, AXA XL’s Design Professional insurance business updated its online Contract Guide for Design Professionals.

According to Design Professional’s Chief Underwriting Officer Douglas Strong, “Risks affecting the design profession are constantly changing. Contracts are such a fundamental tool in helping A/E firms manage their risks. That’s why we want to make sure our clients are well informed and equipped to prepare contracts that effectively address risk and contract issues and protect them and their business.”

The new contract guide contains several important updates to existing chapters, including updated guidance on accessibility, confidentiality, hazardous materials, jobsite safety, and more.  This edition also features three brand-new chapters to address risks associated with:   

  • Force Majeure. What happens if a design firm is unable to perform its services because of an event beyond its control, such as a major hurricane or a pandemic? Is the firm protected against a client’s claim that the firm must complete its services even though it cannot? This new chapter explores available remedies in the law and in one or more contract clauses and explains why design professionals might want to include a force majeure clause in their agreements.
  • Lien Rights. One of the most effective instruments for collecting unpaid fees, a mechanic’s lien (builders’ lien or construction lien in Canada) is generally available to design professionals. But lien laws are complicated, vary widely, and can protect a design professional only if they follow the law to the letter and don’t waive their lien rights, either by agreeing to a client-written contract clause or a lender’s requirement to do so. This new chapter explains how to protect those rights.
  • Resilient Design. As more A/Es incorporate resilient design into their regular practices, client expectations regarding design performance will grow. As a result, project owners will be more likely to assert claims that allege that their project should have been able to withstand foreseeable extreme weather or other events. Many of those lawsuits will claim the A/E breached the standard of care by not incorporating the appropriate resilient design strategies. This new chapter discusses how to communicate to your client the need for appropriate proactive resilient design and the level of protection it may—or may not—provide. Sample contract language that won’t elevate a firm’s standard of care is provided.

The Contract Guide covers more than 100 contract clauses and practice risk management topics with problem-solving strategies, simple explanations of contract language, claims scenarios, negotiation tactics, exhibits, forms and suggested contract language solutions. In addition, users can quickly find what they are looking for by using the organic search feature to help retrieve all relevant content related to the searched keyword or phrase. Using the latest web technologies, it automatically adapts to every device, providing A/E’s instant “on-the-go” access at their fingertips.

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AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit



AXA XL Insurance offers property, casualty, professional, financial lines and specialty insurance solutions to mid-sized companies through to large multinationals globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit


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