Construction update: You can owe duties even if you're not expecting payment

15th January 2016

The High Court has held (Burgess v. Lejonvarn 2016] EWHC 40 (TCC)) that a construction professional can owe a duty of care in negligence even where they had no expectation of payment for the work performed.

Considering recent developments in the law of negligence in the construction sector, the Court also held that a duty of care may arise in respect of any special skill that a construction professional exercises on behalf of his client; no distinction is drawn between the provision of advice and the provision of services. An architect and project manager who performed services gratuitously therefore owed duties of care in respect of the selection of the project team, the preparation of designs needed for pricing and construction, the exercise of costs control, and periodic inspection of the works.

Seb Oram acted for the successful claimant. Seb is a Construction and Commercial Law barrister. Click here to see his experience.