Obviously, retaining wall design involves contracts. These contracts between the Engineer and the Client are important. Does the contract benefit both parties? Is using contracts a win-win?
Contracts are important to:
1. Memorialize everyone's understanding of each party's roles and responsibilities;
2. Reach a mutual understanding of the project requirements;
3. Establish the rules to which the parties will adhere; and,
4. To identify and allocate risk fairly.
A good contract fairly allocates reasonable risk to both parties, based on the benefits of the project to each party.
Here's an example of fair allocation of reasonable risk: when the contract includes a Limitation of Liability for the Engineer. Why, you might ask, am I limiting the Engineer's liability and how is that fair?
Well, here's how it is fair: The Engineer doesn't demand an Unlimited Fee. With an unlimited fee comes unlimited liability. With a limited fee there is limited liability.
Sounds fair to me. What do you think?