The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 72 (1994) > Issues > Issue 17 > Legal Column. More problems with Collateral Warranties?
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Legal Column. More problems with Collateral Warranties?

Engineers during the latter 1980s suffered the trauma of persistent requests for the provision of collateral warranties. These were given as a consequence of the engineer’s input on a building project, such warranties being executed in favour of funding institutions and future tenants or purchasers of the property. These were individuals with whom the engineer, without the existence of the warranty, would not have had a contractual relationship. These were deemed necessary because of the demise in tortious liability. The warranties were an attempt to ensure that the tenant, the purchaser or the fund whose prime asset would be the completed structure would have had some perceived recourse in the event of there being defects within the structure that may or may not have been due to default on the part of the structural engineer. Because of the amount of wasted efforts and costs being incurred in examining the wording of warranties, which were all different, standard forms of warranty have been produced with the approval of the British Property Federation, with the cooperation of the professional institutions. It is hoped that these standard forms will meet with greater, if not universal, use. Jeffrey Brown