Architects and Engineers

Architects and Engineers

Design firms are a driving force behind every great project – but they face tremendous challenges. A/E firms must solve difficult technical issues, with elegance and creativity. And they must retain talented designers against a backdrop of tight profit margins.  Jeremy enjoys counseling them in all aspects of their operations to minimize risk, maximize profit, and help them to serve society with great design.  Jeremy counts architects and engineers as among his favorite clients. 

Why Are Architects and Engineers Scared to Build What they Design?

Representing Architects and Engineers

Jeremy is passionate about representing design firms in Chicago, the birthplace of modern architecture. Whether it is looking up to admire the city’s monuments to great architecture and engineering, or making new friends in the design professional world, he loves being a small part of this community.

Much of our practice is dedicated to counseling A/Es.  Jeremy has represented dozens of design firms in a variety of capacities, from a deeply engaged outside general counsel to an occasional advisor.  A keen understanding of professional liability insurance – and the critical role it plays for designers and their clients, in both contract negotiation and dispute resolution – is essential.  We have the knowledge, insights, and experience that design professionals can trust to handle all their legal needs.

What Risky Contract Terms Concern Smart Architects and Engineers?

Guiding Architects and Engineers Through Disputes

Jeremy has successfully resolved disputes for dozens of A/E firms through mediation, arbitration, and litigation.  He frequently defends designers from insured error and omission claims, but he also represents them in non-insured matters.  Recently, he has represented prominent international and Chicago-based design firms in:

  • Collecting unpaid fees with mechanics lien and contract claims, and through bankruptcy court proceedings.
  • Alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, and their state and local equivalents.
  • Intellectual property matters, including copyright infringement claims brought by and against his designer clients.
  • Working with professional liability insurers to defend A/Es from dozens of claims alleging design malpractice.

Can Architects Help Protect Owners from Construction Project Problems?

Thoughtful Contracts for Architects and Engineers

Helping design firms manage risk with smart contracts is a core focus of our practice.  Jeremy frequently negotiates project-specific A/E contracts.  He also helps A/E firms craft template contract documents for repeat future use.  Having represented most players in the industry, Jeremy understands how to agree on reasonable contract terms that both protect A/Es and are acceptable to the owners and developers who employ his designer clients.

Should Designers’ Proposals Have Terms and Conditions on the Back?

Serving the Design Industry

A Liaison to the AIA Contract Documents Committee, Jeremy is honored to help the AIA craft its widely-used standard form AIA Contract Documents.  He is a frequent speaker and author for industry groups such as the AIA, ACEC, CSI, ABA Construction Law Forum, and IICLE on cutting edge issues such as BIM / Digital Practice and Designer-Led Design Build. 

Some of Jeremy’s recent contributions include:

  • Mechanics Liens and Other Payment Avenues During COVID-19, AIA Contract Documents Video Podcast (April 28, 2020)
  • Using Mechanics Liens to Get Paid: A Primer for Architects In the COVID-19 Era, AIA Chicago Webinar (April 7, 2020)
  • Anatomy of Indemnity and Copyright Clauses: What Architects Should Know, AIA Chicago, Chicago, IL (March 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Postponed)
  • Understanding AIA Document A201-2017, the General Conditions of the Construction Contract, Berkley Design Professional Webinar (June 13, 2019)
  • Protecting the Design Professional with Insurance and Contract Provisions, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Chicago, Illinois (Feb 7, 2019)
  • Design Professional Liability Exposure, Construction Litigation Dispute Resolution, IICLE Seminar, UBS Tower, Chicago, Illinois (Dec. 12, 2018)
  • AIA’s Digital Practice Documents: Managing the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, AIA Chicago Presentation, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 8, 2018)
  • Professional Liability Law, Managing Engineering Liability and Risk, Halfmoon Education, Lombard, Illinois (May 30, 2018; Oct. 25, 2018)
  • Using AIA’s Digital Practice Documents to Manage the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, ABA Forum on Construction Law – “Hot Topics” Webinar (May 16, 2018)
  • Managing Legal Risks, CSI Academy: Risk Management, the Sofitel Hotel, Chicago, Illinois (Apr. 27, 2018)
  • The New Role of the AIA’s BIM and Digital Practice Documents, ACEC Annual Convention and Legislative Summit, Washington, D.C. (Apr. 17, 2018)
  • Chapter 1 – Responsibilities and Liabilities of Architects and Engineers for Construction Failures, Construction Dispute Litigation 2018 Edition, IICLE (Mar. 2018)
  • Using AIA’s Digital Practice Documents to Manage the Risks of BIM and Digital Data, ABA Forum on Construction Law, “Hot Topics” Webinar (Dec. 6, 2017)
  • Engineer-Led Design Build: Simple, Safe & Profitable, ACEC Fall Conference, Orlando, Florida (Oct. 17, 2017)   

To learn more, contact Baker Law today.

Architect and Engineer Tools

Do Architects and Engineers still use these? Or is it all BIM now? Asking for a friend…