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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Hello, We have a problem with the builder. We are consulting

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We have a problem with the builder. We are consulting company specialised in construction industry. We provided the contractor for our client. The client signed separate contract with the contractor and separate with us.
At the moment the contractor wants to break the contract with the customer by not finishing the project and going away. The customer said he will hold the consultant responsible for it even if the customer signed the contract with the contractor and he was paying separately to the contractor.
Is the consultant responsible for this situation? The contractor is a separate company who got separate contract and payments. We just assigned this contractor to the project.
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Apart from the introduction of the contractor to the client have you had any other involvement in this project? Who paid your fees? How was the contractor paid - directly or through you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The contractor got paid directly by the customer.

The customer paid our fees for consultation/management.

Please check our duties according to the contract with the customer.

Stage 1

a) Discuss the customer’s needs and set a budget for both his services and the building work.

b) Carry out a basic survey of the site where the building work will take place and advise on what other surveys may be necessary.

c) Prepare quotation for the building work and provide professional building contractor.

  1. d) Give guidance about the cost, time and programme for the building work.

  2. e) Prepare a letter or written report about how the customer’s needs can be met.

  3. f) Advise on whether any other consultants should be appointed.

  4. g) Advise on any planning permission or building regulations approval needed, and any appeals procedures.

Stage 2

a) Prepare general specification in a quote for the building work.

b) Apply for planning permission, if necessary (see B3 below).

c) Apply for building regulations approval, if necessary (see B3 below).

d) Lead and co-ordinate any other consultants appointed by the customer.

Stage 3

a) Explain the terms of the building contract and help the customer fill in the details.

b) Explain the consultant’s and contractor’s roles in dealing with health, safety and environmental matters connected with the building work.


After building work has started

Stage 4

Provide all the services listed below.

  • Regularly inspect the building work to see whether the contractor is generally keeping to his responsibilities under the building contract.

  • Advise about how any changes to the building work will affect the planned timescales and costs.

  • Give instructions to the contractor, and extend deadlines if necessary, while the building work is being done.

  • Check the builder’s invoices to make sure they are accurate. If necessary, explain the invoice to the customer.

  • When the building work or each stage of the work is finished to his reasonable satisfaction, inform in writing the customer and the contractor.

  • Give the contractor a list of any faults which have appeared at any time up to 3 months after the finish date and which the contractor must put right.

  • When the contractor has put right all the faults listed by the consultant, issue a written confirmation (to the customer and the contractor).

OK.Thanks for the additional information which is really helpful.You are not a party to the contract between the customer and the contractor.As you are not a party you cannot be sued nor can you sue under the rule of 'privity of contract'.Privity of Contract refers to relationship between the parties to a contract which allows them to sue each other but prevents a third party from doing so and vice versa.I cannot see any grounds on which the customer could sue you in the circumstances you have described.
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I received a message to say that you had requested me. Do you require any further assistance? If not please remember to take a moment to rate my answer. Have a good day.
Hi Tom
I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly. Please also take a moment to rate my answer.
Alex Hughes