Contracts and How to Survive Them

19 March 2017




Making contracts work for you. In the April ACA Insight national webinar Wendy Poulton and Natalie Sullivan outline key issues in contracts, and provide some tips on how to negotiate them.

A client-architect agreement is essential when providing architectural services and, in some states, it’s an explicit legal requirement to have one. Working without a clear contract can increase the risk and severity of disputes, and make it harder to recover unpaid fees. Yet client-drafted contracts can be lengthy, one-sided documents which, at their worst, offend common exclusions in professional indemnity insurance cover.

  • What are the risks of using contracts put out by commercial and government clients?
  • Can you use limitation of liability clauses?
  • How can you keep your contractual obligations within the scope of professional indemnity insurance cover?

In this webinar, the legally qualified risk managers at informed will provide an overview of some available standard consultancy agreements, key matters a consultancy agreement should cover, and a few ideas about negotiation strategies.

Our speakers – Wendy Poulton and Natalie Sullivan

Wendy Poulton and Natalie Sullivan are Risk Managers at Informed, By Planned Cover.

Wendy Poulton has been a Risk Manager since 2005. She provides plain English advice on consultancy agreements, training consultants in risk management, and creating guidance materials on emerging challenges in the construction industry. She has lectured on insurance and risk management at RMIT and the University of Melbourne. Previously, Wendy was a solicitor in the Commercial and Insurance Litigation section of Hunt and Hunt. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1997, and completed a Masters in Construction Law in 2011.

Natalie Sullivan holds Bachelor degrees in Law and Economics and was admitted to practice as a Solicitor in New South Wales in 1997. Natalie has worked as a solicitor/associate at Sydney law firm, Colin Biggers and Paisley, in the Insurance Litigation Division, defending claims brought against professionals, and also as a legal advisor in the Commercial Claims division of an insurer, managing claims and providing legal opinions on indemnity and policy interpretation issues. As a Risk Manager, Natalie draws on her experience to identify areas of risk for professionals and to develop seminars which inform and educate professionals on the risks associated with practice and strategies to manage those risks.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WA 10.30am registration for 11am–12 midday
SA, NT 12 midday registration for 12.30–1.30pm 
NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, Qld 12.30 pm registration for 1pm–2pm


$20.00 members
$30.00 non-members

Includes a light lunch at the venue of your choice.


Book online here.

For further information contact Katherine Ygosse at


CPD questions for this webinar will be distributed through host venues and also directly to attendees participating remotely. Questions will also be accessible for download during the webinar.

This event will deliver one hour of formal CPD. Certificates of attendance will be provided for all participants with a valid ticket. Please keep you receipt, completed questions and certificate of attendance for your records.

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this seminar you will be able to describe the legal requirements for forming a contract; recognise some standard form contracts used by consultants; identify some kinds of contractual liability that are likely to be excluded from cover under professional indemnity insurance policies; and have strategies for approaching a contract negotiation.


The ACA National Webinars are hosted by ACA members across Australia. Members located close to a host office can choose to meet with others over a simple lunch, combining professional development with an opportunity to chat with fellow members and actively participate in the national discussion.

Remote login is available for those who can’t make it to a host office or require the added convenience of participating in the webinar from their chosen location. Log in details for the webinar will be distributed to remote access ticket holders in the week prior to the event.

Venues are listed below.


Level 7 232 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne

New South Wales

Fulton Trotter Architects
Level 3, 35 Spring Street
Bondi Junction
Ph 02 9369 5941

Suite 2, 19 Harris Street
Ph 02 8569 5000

MSK Group
Unit 13, 829 Old Northern Road
Ph 02 9651 6500


Fulton Trotter Architects
18 Portman Lane,
Spring Hill
Ph 07 3291 1511


CODA Studio
10 Elder Place

Meyer Shircore and Associates
Suite 2, Ground Floor
437 Roberts Road

ACT, SA, Tasmania and NT

Members in ACT, SA, NT and Tasmania can log in online

Planned Cover is an ACA National Sponsor.

3 - Unnamed