IMPORTANT INFORMATION Read the RIBA’s latest COVID-19 advice and information. | Website terms of use and cookie statement.

RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract 2020

The RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract is suitable for the appointment of a subconsultant to carry out part of the architect or consultant's services.

The new 2020 edition of the RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract has been fully updated to align with the revised RIBA Plan of Work and has the same back-to-back terms and limitations as the standard RIBA Professional Services Contracts. It is, therefore, suitable for when an architect or consultant wishes, or perhaps is required by the client, to appoint a subconsultant to carry out part of the architect/consultant’s services, the Head Agreement is a standard RIBA Professional Services Contract. If the Head Agreement is not a standard RIBA Professional Services Contract, then the consequences of the architect/consultant agreeing with the subconsultant is a capped liability. When the architect/consultant has not been able to negotiate this capped liability in the Head Agreement, it can be severe.

The RIBA subconsultant Professional Services Contract can be used when one Architect/Consultant is to be subcontracted to another Architect/Consultant and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial work, but only where the Client is a commercial client.

The RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract is not suitable for use where the Client appoints subconsultants or specialists directly and is not suitable for the appointment of a Principal Designer as a Subconsultant under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The RIBA recommends that the RIBA Principal Designer Professional Services Contract is used for such purposes.

Buy paper contract

Buy digital contract

A specimen copy can be downloaded here.

Key features

  • Suitable for when an architect/consultant wishes, or is required by the client, to appoint a subconsultant to carry out part of the architect/consultant’s services
  • Suitable where one architect/consultant is to be sub-contracted to another architect/consultant
  • Is not suitable for use where the client appoints subconsultants or Specialists directly or for the appointment of a Principal Designer as a subconsultant
  • Has the same back-to-back terms and limitations as the RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract

Easy to understand

The RIBA subconsultant Professional Services Contract is written in plain English, which provides three key benefits:

  • The language used in the contract is succinct and easy to understand, compared to other standard forms of contracts
  • The terms of the contract are fair and equitable for both the architect/consultant and the subconsultant
  • The clause structure used in the contract avoids the use of large numbers of sub-sub clauses and large amounts of cross-referencing between provisions

Key changes in the new 2020 edition

The new 2020 edition of the RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract has been updated to align with the revised RIBA Plan of Work. We have also taken the opportunity, following feedback from users of the contracts and of construction lawyers, to review and revise some of the standard clauses so that they are clearer and easier to understand. In addition, we have also made the following changes:

  • Included more detailed guidance on the signing and witnessing contracts
  • Updated and provided more detailed guidance on the various forms of dispute resolution – mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation
  • Included a field for the subconsultant to state who their internal complaints contact is (in line with the requirements of the ARB and RIBA codes of conduct)
  • Included additional requirements for the subconsultant to set out their professional indemnity insurance cover for cladding and fire related issues and/or other material exclusions or restrictions, that might be relevant to the project
  • Inserted a new clause in the ‘Fees’ section stating that if the architect/consultant instructs for a reduction in the project brief, which in turn reduces the construction cost, the figure to which the percentage basic fee shall be applied, up to the date of instruction, shall be the estimate of the construction cost, or the lowest acceptable tender, at the time of the instruction

Copies required for each Party

It is legally advisable that both parties to the contract each have an original signed version. Therefore, you should purchase two copies of the contract, so that both the client and the architect/consultant has an original signed copy. Alternatively, prepare your contract online enabling you to issue final copies of the contract to each party at no extra cost.

Integration with other RIBA documents

The RIBA Subconsultant Professional Services Contract have been specifically written to align with the RIBA Plan of Work.

Create your RIBA Professional Services Contract online – it is quick, simple and straightforward

Generating your professional services contract online allows you to create, alter, manage and view all of your contracts in one secure location before printing the final contract. For further details, go to: www.ribacontracts.com.

keyboard_arrow_up To top

Latest updates