Using ConsensusDocs Construction Agreements: Legal Implications

Strategies for Negotiating Contract Terms Using the New Forms

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will review the new ConsensusDocs documents and explain how they differ from the American Institute of Architects' revised forms. The panel will outline legal implications for owners, developers and contractors—and their counsel—to consider before using the ConsensusDocs.


Construction associations representing designers, owners and contractors jointly released a new set of standard construction agreements known as ConsensusDocs in late 2007. The forms should improve the contractual relationship between owners, contractors and architects in construction projects.

The ConsensusDocs forms, which address risk allocation, indemnity, damages, dispute resolution and payments, were released at the same time as the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) 2007 Revised forms, leaving counsel to determine which forms best suit their clients’ needs.

Listen as our panel of construction law attorneys reviews the key issues addressed by the new ConsensusDocs documents, discusses how the ConsensusDocs forms differ from AIA 2007 revised agreements, and explains the legal implications of using the new contracts.



  1. Introduction to ConsensusDocs documents
    1. 200 Series — General contracting
    2. 300 Series — Collaborative documents
    3. 400 Series — Design-build documents
    4. 500 Series — Construction manager contracts
    5. 700 Series — Subcontracting documents
    6. 800 Series — Project management documents
  2. Key issues addressed by ConsensusDocs documents
    1. Risk allocation
    2. Indemnity
    3. Damages
    4. Dispute resolution
    5. Payments
  3. Differences between ConsensusDocs and AIA forms
    1. Waiver of consequential damages
    2. Architect’s role versus contractor’s role
    3. Access to owner’s financial information
    4. Dispute resolution
    5. Project administration
    6. Indemnification
    7. Change orders and directives
  4. Legal implications of using the ConsensusDocs documents


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What key issues are addressed in the new ConsensusDocs contract documents?
  • What are the legal implications of using the ConsensusDocs forms instead of the revised AIA documents?
  • What are the best practices for counsel to building owners, contractors and architects to adapt to the new forms and minimize liability for their clients?


B. Scott Douglass
B. Scott Douglass

Farella Braun & Martel

He represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and a major Asian-based steel fabricator in the context of...  |  Read More

Clark T. Thiel
Clark T. Thiel


He focuses on construction project and contract dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and litigation....  |  Read More

Richard M. Shapiro
Richard M. Shapiro

Farella Braun & Martel

He has a diverse real estate practice representing clients in transactions related to complex project development,...  |  Read More

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