As a professional liability insurer we focus on practice-related risk management activities. Our experience generally has been that the design professionals have the technical expertise to provide the necessary solutions. Once the contract is signed, it is important to review the contract and extract all of the client requirements that are your responsibility. Coordination responsibilities, deliverables, milestones, and the standards that govern your services should be identified before you begin the services. If the client has not stated clearly what the requirements are, then it is important to contact the owner and find out what their requirements are. If, for example, your deliverables include electronic drawings, you need to know what the client’s CAD requirements and standards are. If the client has no preference on a particular issue, it is prudent to affirmatively put them on notice that unless they notify you otherwise by a certain date, you are going to proceed with a particular approach. The burden is then on the client to make a decision on the matter in a timely manner; if the client decides to change a standard later, then the cost to make the change later should be borne by the client.
These are the kinds of processes that ultimately help you manage client expectations and keep your practice profitable.