New ACE Agreements coming soon

New ACE Agreements are set to be published around the turn of the year, following the conclusion of a thorough review of the current suite of agreements to produce more ‘user friendly’ documents which will be acceptable to consultants, public and private sector clients and contractors.

The revised agreements have been updated to take into account new developments in the industry and changes in the way that clients, consultants and contractors do business.

Irrespective of the value or complexity of services being commissioned and delivered, the business case for clarity of what these are and a framework for the proper allocation of risk and responsibility between the parties to any agreement are crucial.

ACE has consistently promoted the use of standard terms of engagement to address these issues. It has also highlighted the dangers inherent in contractual terms being incorporated by reference. However well the parties think they understand what their agreement means it may well, if tested, be found to differ significantly from what they thought. This outcome can prove costly both financially and in terms of the ongoing relationship between the consultant and client.

With this in mind, new ACE Agreement for both “design” and “design and construct” services is now being finalised. Written in clear language, it “collects” all the rights and obligations of the parties together to ensure greater clarity of responsibilities and fairly balancing and allocating those to the party best able to deal with them. Collaboration and the early warning of events which may impact on services are included, as is BIM.

Guidance notes will be incorporated within the agreement as will a standard form of collateral warranty, should this be required. A new Sub-Consultancy Agreement will cascade down the key provisions of the Agreement to ensure that all rights and responsibilities are ‘back to back’, whilst able to be used for projects based in Scotland as well.

Together with the publication of the new agreements, updated Schedules of Services are being developed to complement them.

Following publication, ACE will host a number of regional events in 2017 to familiarise the industry with the new agreements and schedules of services.

For more on ACE’s agreements, please visit


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