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Any structural engineer involved in larger scale commercial developments cannot have failed to notice the proliferation of unusual terms and conditions of engagement for an engineer’s duties. While some clients still seem to be content to use the ordinary standard forms, many other clients now seem to have departed from them completely. While speculation about the cause of this phenomenon might be idle, there must be a reason for it. Some might say that the reason is that the inadequacy of the JCT forms has caused owners and developers to look hard at all their forms of contract; others, more cynically, may conclude that it is the direct result of firms of lawyers setting up ‘construction law departments’ which then have to find something to do. J.J. Ward