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Willis A&E 2019 Webinar Program Descriptions

January 14th
Constructor Claims Against the Owner

We will be joined by David Hatem from Donovan Hatem along with Valerie Onderka from Ironshore as we consider a very real and frequent claim scenario: The Constructor on a design-bid-build project asserts claims against the project owner for substantial additional costs and delays allegedly due to (a) design errors and omissions and (b) owner failure to pay for contract and extra work, and interference with the Constructor’s performance of the Work. We will have a lively discussion around a number of important issues that impact not only resolution of the Constructor’s claims against the Owner, but also the “health and future” of the Design Professional’s relationship with the Owner. The key to maintenance (and growth) of success in that relationship often depends upon how the Owner and Design Professional interact with each other in the resolution of those Constructor claims.

February 14th
Valentine Special: “See Jane Build Watch Dick Sue”

Don’t miss our annual Willis A&E Valentine special: See Jane Build Watch Dick Sue! Every year we spice this program up as we consider the important “Go/No-Go” decisions every design firm must make when evaluating a new project opportunity. This is a great time of year to think about relationships and whether or not we should enter into a new one - and if so, how it might impact our bottom line… We will be joined by Andrew Mendelson, FAIA and Sr. VP for Berkley DP for an interactive discussion around how A&E firms evaluate and consider the risks associated with new business opportunities. We will review what firms must consider when it comes to assessing any new business opportunity specifically: the project, project team, financials, contracts and client selection.

March 11th
Managing CA Risk

David Ericksen from the San Francisco law firm Severson Werson will give a presentation on this critical topic of managing construction administration risk. David will review the pitfalls and opportunities design firms face when it comes to construction administration. For this special program we will have an interactive discussion on issues relative to site visits, duties and the inherent risks. We will cover critical issues to consider and important risk management practices when it comes to addressing non-compliant work, reduction and elimination of your role, scope creep, handling requests to terminate contractors as well reduced or terminated site visit responsibilities.

April 8th
Ethics for Architects and Engineers

What are the ethical obligations of the Design Professional when it comes to the health, safety and welfare of the general public? Jeff Coleman from the Minnesota law firm, Coleman Law, will be presenting his very popular program to address this very question. What are the potential risks and liabilities to the Design Professional surrounding accessibility, energy efficiency, issues relative to conflicts between existing codes and client requests? What steps should you take in the event an error or omission is discovered? This promises to be a lively discussion on these questions as well as rules and regulations governing the architecture practice – and the ethical often complex issues Design firms. This program is approved for ethic credits as required in some states in addition to HSW CE credits.

May 13th
Designing in a Digital World

Electronic Communication and Documentation has created efficiencies as the industry has moved to a more paperless environment. However, it has also created some new challenges and evolving risks for the design profession that must be addressed. We will have an interactive discussion on the inherent risk factors and important risk management considerations associated with BIM, ownership of documents/data, transmittal and receipt of data, the influx in Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure, and the role of social media in the A&E practice.

June 10th
From Cradle to Grave

This webinar will dive into business issues that can dramatically impact the success of your firm. Dave Barker along with Colleen Palmer from Beazley will lead a discussion on a wide range of business considerations for A&E firms. Topics will include growing your business both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, actions to take when your business is hitting its stride, downsizing and closing your business, M&A, business characteristics of successful firms, and insurance considerations in all phases of your business. All staff levels from small and large firms will benefit from the exploration of a wide range of business and strategic planning considerations.

July 8th
Managing Uncertainty III

Clark Davis and Stephen Jones are back to present an update on their seminal work, Managing Uncertainty, the research that was conducted by McGraw Hill Construction and released as a McGraw Hill SmartMarket Report. Clark and Stephen will present their findings from this report on typical sources and costs of project uncertainty, tools for educating project teams, planning and budgeting guidance, (i.e. establishing meaningful contingencies!) and information about best practices that can improve the industry’s performance. They will review their research into the question, is perfection possible in building design and construction?

August 12th
Claim Stories Around The Campfire

Summer is here and it’s time to gather around the campfire and tell some scary claim stories. Join us as we share some claim stories and have an interactive discussion on claim trends and specific risk management tips firm’s should consider in order to mitigate their risk from costly claims and client disputes. Dan Buelow, Managing Director of Willis A&E will moderate a discussion between two seasoned A&E claims campers: Bob Stanton, VP of Claim for Willis A&E and Anthony Carolei, VP of A&E Claims for Hanover Insurance Company. Join us for a lively panel discussion on some actual claims and valuable lessons learned that every A&E firm can benefit from.

September 9th
Communication and Documentation

Most claims against A&E firms are rooted in poor communications and documentation practices. Join us for an interactive discussion around this critical topic and often neglected area of risk management within the Design practice: effective communication and documentation. Dan Buelow, Managing Director of Willis A&E, will moderate this discussion with the help of Duane Repko and Frank Musica from Victor O. Schinnerer to help us review the challenges and exposures associated with poor communication and documentation within the design and construction practice. This program will offer practical measures your firm can take to establish and manage expectations – and implement effective documentations practices to reduce your risk to costly claims and client disputes.

October 31th
Halloween Special:Contracts from Hell!

Join us for our Willis A&E annual Halloween webinar special: Contracts From Hell! We will be taking another look back at some of the scariest contract clauses our A&E clients have been spooked with over the last year. This on-line program promises to prepare you for that next horrifying contract as we discuss some practical tips on how to negotiate fair and insurable professional agreements. Dan Buelow, Managing Director of Willis A&E, will moderate a discussion on how best to recognize and negotiate these spooky contractual risks with the help of two scary dudes: Bob Stanton, VP President of Claims for Willis A&E and Doug Palandech, from the law firm Foran Glennon Palandech. This is a fun program for all staff.

November 12th
Getting Paid Without Getting Sued

When the client doesn’t pay, engineers are caught between a rock and hard place. You can let the fee go, and undermine the financial stability of your practice or you can pursue payment through the law, and run the high risk of a retaliatory counter-claim for negligence which can be even more devastating. The reality is that engineers can and should strategically control this process. David Ericksen from Severson Werson will suggest a project-long approach to securing and collecting fees with limited litigation risks. The model will be supported by suggested procedures, templates, and contact provisions.

December 9th
Managing Cyber Risk

Insurance is only one piece of the risk management puzzle when it comes to managing the ever-evolving cyber liability risks to the design practice. As design firms increase their use and dependency on technology, we have seen more and more firms fall victim to cyber-attacks. Design firms must manage both first and third party cyber risks and this webinar will review important risk management tips and techniques every A&E firm can use to protect against cyber risk. Dan Buelow, Managing Director of Willis A&E, will moderate a discussion with Jill Tellez from Victor O. Schinnerer on how best to manage your firm’s cyber risks.

Architects and Engineers Division Key Contact

Dan Buelow
Managing Director
Architects and Engineers Division
(312) 288 7189

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