Form Contracts are Great, but. . .

Businessman holding contract

Like with any set of forms, they need to be “tweaked” for your particular project.

November 12, 2019
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

Recently I was discussing the ConsensusDOCs with a colleague and friend and had a revelation. These forms are used often (though somewhat less than their AIA counterparts and less than they should be used). Quick disclaimer: I have been a part of a couple of drafting committees for ConsensusDOCs and am friends with Brian Perlberg, general counsel to the drafting effort.

Some of the reason that these forms are so widely used is that they can be applied in a general way to almost any situation. Both sets of forms have documents for small and large jobs. Both have forms for Contractor/Owner and Contractor/Subcontractor. In short, a form document exists for about any scenario.

I am writing now to let you know that while forms are great, they are just that. . . forms. Like with any set of forms, they need to be “tweaked” for your particular project. In my opinion they both have great clauses in them, and both have some flexibility built in (ConsensusDOCS more at the moment than the AIA forms). At the very least, construction professionals need to use this flexibility to conform the documents to their particular situation and do so within the documents themselves and not with addenda that “strike” or “modify” particular clauses.

Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com



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