Architects are often appointed under the RIBA standard form, which has recently been updated. Local authorities need to have these changes in mind when appointing architects.

The key changes are:

  1. The architect is now required to perform the services in accordance with your brief so far as reasonably practicable. It seems odd to include this clause. If it is no longer practicable to design what you want, why would the project continue?
  2. Limitations on liability. There is now an overall cap on liability. This is probably sensible since most damages claims will be paid by the architect's professional indemnity insurance. Once that has been exhausted there will probably be little left worth suing for.
  3. The default interest rate for late payment of the architect's fees has been reduced from 8 per cent over the Bank of England base rate to 5 per cent.