Category: Risk & Liability

Proprietary Systems

Proprietary Systems

Your design includes a proprietary system.  For example a glazed wall or curtain wall system, cladding or a façade cladding system, roof or sandwich panel, a membrane waterproofing system, flashing system – take your pick.  You are reliant on the provider’s information for design documentation (including details specifications and QA systems), on a licensed applicator/installer for the work on site, and on a producer certificate and/or warranty for completion.

When it goes wrong, are you in the cross-hairs?

Apart from being a natural target as the designer holding PI cover, it will depend!

In selecting the product or system for your design, you are entitled to rely on representations by the supplier, but as a professional person it is expected that you at least attempt to divide the facts from the “alternative facts”.  When the blow-torch is applied in the courtroom (several years later), you need to be able to verify that you carried out sufficient enquiry to establish that you made a prudent selection.  And that your selection was made on the basis of the particular circumstances of the project as they were known at the time.

When incorporating the supplier’s information into your design, you still have a duty to assess and make sensible use of their standard detailing to suit the project.  Wind loadings, seismic movement, future maintenance, installation complexity and many other issues will be relevant.  The question is not so much “will it be good enough” but “where, why and how will it potentially fail, and what are the consequences of that?”

The supplier’s information is not usually provided in the form necessary to deal with all the junctions and interfaces with other work;  QA/ fixing details/ lap details/ weathering details may be at odds with your expectations.  Your site-specific design needs to deal with that.  If you “tweak” a standard detail, it becomes your detail, not theirs.  The same if you use a standard detail in a non-standard way.

During the installation, what are your obligations to observe?  You may think that your responsibility is replaced or reduced by using a licensed installer under the supplier’s QA system.  But sooner or later, someone is going to suggest that despite that, you still had a duty to observe and comment on the work.  A licensed installer does not provide certainty of performance;  a supplier’s QA system in turn needs to be assessed and monitored.  At the very least you will have to verify that you reviewed the work to the extent required to be satisfied that the performance requirements and the QA measures were being carried out.

On completion, are you now completely reliant upon documentation by the supplier?  If so, what is in place to make sure you get it when you need it?  Can it be trusted:  it is not unknown for suppliers to sign off on defective work in the hope that it never comes back to bite them.  If the contract requires a warranty, make sure you get it.  But a warranty from a worthless company is worthless!  How hard is it going to be to “collect” on the warranty when required?

And now we are at the point – years later – when the proprietary system and/or building elements in association with it have failed.  Maybe the main contractor, supplier and installer have also “evaporated”.  Worse, close examination reveals that the system was used in a non-standard way, and with substitution of some elements of it, despite the producer statements and warranties.  The performance expectations and technical detailing has become more sophisticated over the years. 

Only now, dear member, do you realise that the fees you earned were inadequate to allow for the careful attention required by the circumstances of this project;  or for the potential future risk that under joint and several liability you (and your insurers) would carry the can for failures by others.

(See also “Reliance on, and co-ordination of trade and consultant advice”)

Free advice

Free advice

A recent case in Britain highlights the risks associated with giving free advice.  It is very tempting to be casual in arrangements with friends or with the club where you are a member, but in the case of Burgess vs Lejonvan, architect Lejonvan got dragged into rather prolonged legal action over some apparently innocuous landscape design done for free. 

Without going into the details of the case the lessons are as follows:

  • The absence of a formal written agreement does not mean that a professional duty of care (in tort) doesn’t exist.  It’s worth noting that in a similar situation in New Zealand, if you are a registered architect, you could also face a complaint to the NZRAB for failure to observe rule 58A of the Code of Ethics.
  • Even if no fee is paid, you are considered to be providing professional services and so are bound to the same standards of exercising reasonable skill and care as if you were being paid.

So…what should you do in such a situation?  Well it is always advisable to document your terms of engagement – particularly in the context of the NZRAB Code of Ethics.  If you are asked to provide advice or an opinion outside of a work situation be clear that any views/opinions you provide are not in a professional capacity and that they cannot be relied upon.

Besides, based on recent figures of fee incomes in our profession, where is the justification to undervalue our services by doing free work at all?

Copyright in Architecture

Copyright in Architecture

Claim notifications involving copyright matters

Ownership of copyright has arisen in claim notifications.  It is apparent that some architects do not appreciate the subtleties of it, and it is not fully addressed in NZIA Practice Note (PN 6.101).    

This paper provides an overview of copyright for architects.

Protection of literary and artistic work existed in Britain and Europe since the mid-18th Century and was adopted internationally by the signatories of the Berne Convention of 1886.  It has been expanded and developed by many countries, particularly in response to digital communication.

The NZ Copyright Act 1994 superseded earlier legislation and was introduced to align with copyright legislation in countries that were then about to enter the TRIPS Agreement (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).  It provided recognition of copyright ownership and ensured that copyrighted material in one country could not be imported or transmitted to another.  This was particularly relevant for the digital transfer of films, music and computer software programmes.  

Copyright protection extends to expressions and not to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts.

Copyright:

The NZ Copyright Act 1994 covers intellectual property rights and controls in respect of copying, publication, transmitting, archiving, and educational use of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, films, communication works, computer programs and the typographical arrangement of published editions.  

The provisions relevant to architects are included within the description of literary works and artistic works which includes graphic works (painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart or plan) or models, irrespective of their artistic quality;  architecture and buildings is a sub-set of artistic work .

Architectural copyright

The following brief outline is related to architectural copyright in the broadest context and will include the nature of copyright protection as envisioned in NZIA AAS.

General Rules: The author of copyright is the person who creates the work which is the subject of copyright.  The author may be a natural person or a body corporate.  In some circumstances, there can be joint authorship.  The author is the first owner of the copyright interest.

When a copyright author is an employee, the first copyright owner is their employer.  When a person pays, or agrees to pay, for the copyright work, that person is the first copyright owner.

Copyright ownership can be assigned or sold as a property right, but the transfer is not effective unless it is confirmed in writing and signed by or on behalf of the copyright owner.

Many architects appear to believe that, as a matter of principle, they have the copyright ownership of their plans and/or designs.  This is a false premise in the first instance; the design documentation belongs to the client who commissioned the work.  The escape route for architects lies in the written assignment opportunity and this is provided for within the NZIA AAS, wherein the client agrees to transfer their copyright ownership to the architect, who in exchange provides contractual consideration and provides to the client a license to utilise the copyrighted work for their intended purpose.  This NZIA copyright ownership is not effective unless the AAS, which defines the assignment relationship, is signed by or on behalf of the client.  Without this signed agreement, or similar signed agreement, the first design copyright owner is the client.  Furthermore, the transfer of copyright ownership is not conditional upon the execution of payment, but rather the agreement to pay for the design copyright.  (As an aside, the ADNZ agreement for services provides for the designer and client to share joint ownership of the design copyright, which shall only become effective upon satisfactory payment of their agreed fee.)

Copyright protection exists for 50 years following the death of the author and is subject to the laws of survivorship.  Copyright is infringed if the work is copied and/or transmitted without the copyright owner’s consent.  In cases of alleged infringement of copyright, the Act provides a right for a copyright owner to initiate legal proceedings to recover damages, seek an injunction or any similar property rights and remedies.  But this is not without reliable evidence and legal argument and creditable defence.

In legal proceedings, an architect will need to establish that he or she is the current copyright owner of the architectural design drawing.  To this end, it is helpful to have a statement relating to the copyright ownership incorporated in the plans or drawings belongs to the architect.  This statement (or a recognised copyright symbol consisting of the letter “c” enclosed within a circle) will be sufficient to put the infringing copyist on notice of the existence of copyright.  If this precondition is fulfilled, then a prime facie case of copyright ownership will have been established.  This will enable a copyright owner to seek legal recovery upon adequate proof, of damages or other appropriate property relief.  If it is proved or admitted that the defendant did not know and had no reason to believe that copyright existed in the work which is the subject of the proceedings, then the plaintiff is not entitled to damages, but is only entitled to an account for profits.  In respect of a building under construction, no injunction order to prevent building completion, nor to require the demolition of a partly constructed building, may be made after the construction of a building has begun.

Copyright infringement litigation will generally benefit from the presentation of expert witness evidence which should clearly indicate the nature and reasoned extent of artistic or architectural infringement and may identify similarities and differences of copyrighted features for comparison purposes.  Because of litigation risk and costs, architectural copyright infringement allegations are settled confidentially by negotiation.  It is an offence against the Act to claim copyright when you are not the copyright owner.

It is possible for two or more separate individuals to independently come to a similar design solution this may not amount to a breach of copyright.  This is particularly apparent in an architectural work which was required to satisfy a similar design brief on a similar sized site with similar constraining features and similar planning constraints or covenanted conditions which limit the form, style and cladding materials.  However, if the plaintiff’s evidence can establish that a defendant had access to the copyrighted plans or building, then this may support a claim for infringement of copyright.  The definition of building includes any fixed structure and a part of a building or fixed structure.

It is not uncommon for more than one architect to be involved in different aspects of a building design. In such cases there may be an overlap of copyright ownership interests.  This should be carefully considered by each architect to ensure that their respective claim for moral copyright is clearly defined and that any promotional material clearly reflects their respective interests in a manner which doesn’t contravene the NZRAB Rules, particularly Rule 46 Uphold the law (including copyright); 47 Honesty and Fairness; and 57 Reputation.  If an architect is commissioned to undertake alterations to another architect’s designed building, then it would be prudent to advise the original author who retains the moral copyright, so that the author may have an opportunity to photograph the original work before it is altered.

Derogatory treatment:  The Act prohibits the derogatory treatment of an artistic work.  Under a similarly worded Australian Copyright Act, Harry Seidler is said to have objected to the placement of a distinctive advertising sign for a Pig’n’Whistle Traditional English Pub tenancy within a Riverside building project in Brisbane.  Mr Seidler litigated, but settled out of court in a confidential document which allegedly required Pig’n’Whistle to acknowledge that Mr Seidler had nothing to do with the design of the neon pig sign that was attached to his Riverside development building.

Case Studies

Copyright infringement in NZ was considered in Beazley Homes Ltd v Arrowsmith [1978] 1 NZLR 394 (HC).  The plaintiff was a group builder who provided a range of plans for low cost houses for their customer’s selection and subsequent purchase of the built house.  The defendant operated a similar styled business for its customers.  Beazley alleged that three houses built by Arrowsmith were copied from their stock plans and sought relief in the form of injunction, damages and delivery up of the copied plans.  Evidence was produced that Arrowsmith had access to and had copied the Beazley plan.  The case was decided according to the earlier 1962 Copyright Act which was less prescriptive than the current Act.  The Court held that Arrowsmith infringed the architectural copyright owned by Beazley and issued an order for injunctions and associated relief.

A much publicised and apparent blatant breach of architectural copyright occurred with the construction in Chongqing of a copy of Zaha Hadid Architects Wangjing SOHO project in Beijing.  China, however, does not appear to recognise copyright infringement as effectively as do recognised countries in the TRIPS Agreement.  ZHA and their client decided not to pursue for infringement of copyright for unrelated commercial reasons; they wanted their building completed first.

A more mundane example occurred when an architect specified a particular furniture manufacturer’s product or similar approved furniture, for inclusion in a tender for the interior fitout and furnishing of a large hotel complex.  The successful contractor provided an identical copy from another source.  This resulted in the specified manufacturer recovering damages for copyright infringement.

In two distinctly different, but similar examples.  Architect A prepared the initial concept design for a building which was further developed and documented by architect B.  Architect A promoted the completed building by implying that it owned the moral copyright of the completed building.  In the other example, architect X completed the developed design, documentation and construction observation services for a project which had been conceived conceptually by architect Y.  Architect Y considered, perhaps incorrectly, that X had infringed its architectural copyright.  (Neither architect appeared to have acknowledged the respective copyright interest of the other.)

Architect P designed a house in a form which replicated that of a traditional Japanese temple.  The owner Q had earlier built a house to a similar design and alleged that P had infringed Q’s architectural copyright.  It was argued on P’s behalf, that Q did not own the artistic or architectural copyright to a traditional Japanese temple which was in the public domain and secondly it was established that P was unaware of Q’s building, had not sighted their drawings, nor visited the site.  The matter was settled by correspondence.

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism isa close, but distinctive relative ofcopyright.  Each occupies a parallel path, but cover different considerations.  Copyright infringement is a legal matter, plagiarism is an ethical one which does not acknowledge the source or author of the copied work.  Copyright and plagiarism can also coexist.

A celebrated British case involving architectural plagiarism was Pearce v Ove Arup Partnership [1997] Ch 293.  In this case, Gareth Pearce, an unemployed architect at the time, claimed that his student design project for a Docklands Town Hall was essentially copied, without acknowledgement, by Rem Koolhaas in his design for the Kunsthal which was constructed in Amsterdam some years later.  Pearce produced evidence that Koolhaas had sighted and copied his student project design drawings.  This was rejected by the High Court judge and Pearce’s expert witness was referred by the judge to the Registered Architects Board UK, as a disciplinary complaint.  The Disciplinary Committee following extensive evidential inquiry, determined that the expert witness had acted properly and, surprisingly, Koolhaas’s legal counsel admitted that plagiarism had occurred.  

The Act has 270 clauses.  Here are some salient clauses that may be of particular interest to architects.  These are subject to judicial interpretation and precedent;  Copyright concerns should always be referred to experienced legal counsel for advice.  

Definitions:  Copyright Act 1994 references are noted thus [ ].

Copyright:  Copyright is a property right that exists in original works including, inter alia, literary or artistic works, which includes a graphic work, or model, irrespective of artistic quality, or a work of architecture, being a building or model of a building or a work of artistic craftsmanship.  Building includes any fixed structure and any part of a building. [14]

Duration of copyright:  In the case of any literary or artistic works, copyright expires 50 years following the death of the author. [22]  The Crown is bound by the Copyright Act, but its ownership right expires 100 years after the work was made. [26]

Author:  The person who creates the work, in this case, the literary or artistic work.  The author may be a natural person or a body corporate. [5]  Joint authorship exists when two or more authors contribute in an indistinct manner. [6]  The author must be a NZ citizen or an individual domiciled in NZ or a body corporate registered in NZ, or alternatively have similar characteristics in a prescribed foreign country. [18]

Copyright owner:  The copyright owner is the person entitled to the copyright in the work.  The owner of thein a work has the exclusive right to copy the work or to make adaptions to the work and to authorise another person to do so. [16]

First ownership of copyright:  The first owner is the author of the work.  Where an employee in the course of their employment makes a literary or artistic work, the person’s employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work.  Where a person commissions, and pays or agrees to pay for, the making of a drawing, diagram, plan or model, that person is the first owner of any copyright in the work. [21]

Publication:  Means the issue of copies of the work to the public.  In the case of a work of architecture in the form of a building, or an artistic work incorporated in a building, construction of the building shall be treated as equivalent to the publication of the work. [10(2)]  However, in the case of a work of architecture in the form of a building or model for a building, or a work of artistic craftsmanship, the issue to the public of copies of a graphic work representing or of photographs of the work, do not constitute publication for the purposes of the Act. [10 (4c)]

Copyright infringement:  Occurs when any person does any restricted act which includes copying, the importation of copyrighted works and possessing and dealing in copyrighted works. [30; 35; 36]

Criticism, reviews and news reporting:  Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of criticism or review, does not infringe copyright in the work if such fair dealing is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement. [42(1)]

Making of subsequent works by same artist:  Where the author of an artistic work is not the copyright owner, he or she does not infringe copyright in that work by copying the work in making another artistic work, if the main design of the earlier work is not repeated or imitated. [77]

Reconstruction of buildings:  Anything done for the purposes of reconstructing a building does not infringe copyright in the building or in any drawings or plans with which the building was constructed. [78]

Back-up copy of computer program:  Copyright in a computer program is not infringed by making a back-up copy intended to preserve the original in case of its loss, destruction or rendered unusable. In such circumstances, the back-up copy is deemed to become the original copy. [80]

Moral right:  The author of a literary or artistic work that is a copyright work has the right to be identified as the author of that work. [94]  The author of a work of architecture in the form of a building has the right to be identified as such on the building as constructed. [94(7)]  Identification is by appropriate means visible to persons entering or approaching the building. [95]  Such moral right may be asserted generally on an assignment of copyright, or at any time by instrument in writing signed by the author. [96]  Moral rights are not assignable. [118]

Licence:  A licence granted by a copyright owner is binding upon any successor in title of that person’s interest in the copyright. [111]

Assignment:  An assignment of copyright is not effective unless it is in writing and signed by or on behalf of the assignor. [114]

Remedies for infringement:  An infringement of copyright is actionable by the copyright owner.  Relief is in the form of damages, injunctions, accounts or otherwise as available to plaintiffs in other property rights. [120]  Where the defendant did not know, and had reason to believe, that copyright existed in the work, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages, but is entitled to an account of profits. [121]  In respect of the construction of a building, no injunction or order can be made after the construction of a building has begun, nor require any such building, in so far as it has been constructed, to be demolished.

Graham Strez 10/01/2020

Reliance on, and co-ordination of trade and consultant advice

Reliance on, and co-ordination of trade and consultant advice

Several claims have revolved around whether the architect was prudent or competent in applying the advice from others. A claim based on co-ordination issues is also likely to involve the architect. The corollary is that an architect is expected to have the competence to recognise when specialist input is required, and to communicate that need to the client.

In general terms an architect is not expected to be an expert in all things, but because the architect’s documentation usually co-ordinates the input of others, the architect is required to exhibit prudence and competence in that task. The level of skill required is that of a competent architect engaged on a similar project: it is not necessary to “second guess”, nor to take responsibility for the inputs of others.

Sources of information from “others” includes – but is not limited to – technical data from trade suppliers, input from specialist consultants (eg engineers), local body records and requirements, and the owners/clients/users. The limitations of such inputs are that the information may be of a generalist nature applicable to all projects; based on only a partial (and perhaps evolving) knowledge of project requirements; focussed only on the interests of the particular author or product; incompatible with associated construction elements; wrong, inadequate or inaccurate; require a level of accuracy or project resources beyond the usual; or some combination of any and all of these circumstances!

Examples from claims where this reliance and co-ordination has created a liability:

• The allocation of responsibility for co-ordination needs to be clearly acknowledged. To what extent does it fall to the project manager, or the architect, or is within the scope of other specialist consultants? Who is observing the contract (and to what level)? Who is administering it? Examples: geotech advice via structural engineer to architect or PM; QS input in relation to design constraints; PM/client instructions to design team; separate contractors versus sub-contractors or nominated subcontractors.

• Wind and corrosion zones affect weathering details and fixing requirements: those shown on the TA maps may not be appropriate to a specific site, or for a particular feature of the building.

• Minimum deck or roof falls permitted by trade data or building code compliance may not be appropriate. Consider (at least): moisture held by wind-blown detritus; substrate or structural deflection; applied finishes (perhaps tiling); construction tolerances; penetrations; perimeter detailing; expected level of installation workmanship; post-construction foot traffic; expected level of maintenance; faith in the likely performance of the product; possible heavy short-term weather events…..

• Standard details: Suppliers provide these to copy/paste into drawings but it is still necessary for the architect to be satisfied they are suitable. If it is necessary to “tweak” them to suit the project, they are no longer “standard” and may not fit within the compliance statements offered by the supplier. Similarly the details in the NZBC Acceptable Solutions.

• Certificates, Appraisals, Codemarks, warranties and guarantees: What will happen if these are required but not provided? Are they current, relevant, enforceable, applicable or worth anything? We have had claims where such things have been withdrawn or expired before (or soon after) design but before the product failed; others where the product was covered but not its installation; others where overseas documentation was not appropriate for NZ. Where such documents are subject to ongoing maintenance, that needs to be known to those responsible for it.

• Design-build: the integration and coordination of façade panel systems, roof sandwich panel systems, window assemblies and other elements may be dependent on preliminary information which may create later difficulties. Whilst the detailing of each element may work, mixing and matching them might not, and may prevent the issue of a completion statement. It is by no means unknown for design-build proposals to be withdrawn or substituted. Or unrealistic. These constraints need to be acknowledged ahead of time so that they can be resolved in the usual course of business, instead of being a problem later on.

• Dimensional tolerances: Where the installation of one item is dependent on another there is a need to accommodate variances and construction requirements. Structural deflections are a reality, as are dimensional deviations, moisture-induced movement and long-term creep. A well-considered design should be easier to build and continue to function as expected.

• The owner’s understandings of boundary positions, covenants and cross leases, relationships with neighbours, or applicable workplace/usage regulations may be inadequate or wrong. Where these are critical to the project, the architect needs to have the proper legal or surveying advice.

• When the architect’s conception of a suitable design/material/detail is supplanted by the client’s specific direction, it needs to be on record that the responsibility for that design decision lies with the client not the architect. Better still if the architect’s objection is made known along with the reasons for it. A similar situation may apply with project managers, other consultants, and to substitutions by the builder.

• When project documentation proceeds on the basis of outline information provided by a specialist consultant, it should be reviewed before work is done on site, and signed off on completion by that consultant. (Fire engineering is a typical example). If that is not done, there is a good chance the architect will become embroiled in the later shortcomings.

The short point is that the architect should not blindly accept and incorporate inputs by others, but in each case consider whether it is reasonable to do so. The role includes seeking clarification, weighing priorities where there are competing or conflicting issues, alerting others to their responsibilities, and refining the project parameters where necessary. To be blunt, it also requires good records to cover your backside if things go wrong!

Completion Statements by Architect

Completion Statements

When developer-driven housing projects cut out the architect for observation during the construction phase, it often turns out that they later require a completion statement in order to meet the terms of sale for the units. This task is fraught with problems: if you have not been involved in the construction as it happened, how can you possibly offer a sensible opinion on how that work was carried out?
No matter how carefully you seek to limit your completion statement to “what you can see, when you saw it” the pressure to expand that statement to meet the requirements of individual purchasers will be immense, and the interpretation of it several years later when things have gone wrong is beyond your control. Even if you were only required to certify in relation to fitness for occupation, inevitably the question will arise about why you did not – at the same time – see something else which (several years later) caused costly problems.
This is an issue that should be dealt with at the time you are engaged for the project, when the proper scope and risk management arrangements can be put in place. Hopefully the extent and purpose of your attendances during construction is clearly described. If it is limited in extent, that will be a very important matter to set down.
We have dealt with this many times before, and there is a longer paper on the matter on the NZACS website : https://www.nzacs.co.nz/practical-completion-certificates-a-repeat-caution/

On a similar issue, different clients (and/or their funders) have different ideas about what a statement of practical completion should say. Again, this is an issue that should be discussed at the beginning (so you can prepare for and charge accordingly) rather than near the end of the project, when you can be leveraged to your disadvantage. Clients have been known to demand a statement of practical completion – using their text – in return for a prompt payment of long outstanding fee invoices.
You will recognise what comes next: The short point is: the NZIA or CCCS terms are “neutral” and built up from many years of experience in projects of all types and sizes, so you should be VERY AFRAID of attempts by others to reinvent the wheel, with the prospect of unexpected and potentially unwelcome outcomes.
You can only “certify” on the basis of the work you have undertaken; so it would be useful to qualify any statements so as to make it clear that you are only commenting on the basis of (and to the limited extent of) the scope of work for which you were engaged. And if others have altered what you did in any way (with or without your knowledge), you cannot be responsible for that unless you have specifically accepted the change.
In the absence of a statement limiting your involvement, the chances are that you will be held to have been part of or party to something that may have not been within your control. For example, if a client changes an item unilaterally or contrary to your advice, you do not want to be later confronted with the assertion that (by default) you agreed to it.
Be aware that if it comes to a claim against you, there is every prospect that any and all of your documents might be available to the claimant, whether you agree or not. That means that correspondence, site notes and office memos must all be consistent: in the event of discrepancy or contradictions or ambiguities, the claimant will exploit those against you.
If your statements are reliant on information provided to you, then make that clear. To some extent you will have a duty to review and accept that information, in other cases you would be wise to accept it without review, but in all cases, you will need to be satisfied that it meets your expectations as a prudent architect.
You should not be making a statement which might suggest your taking responsibility for the actions of others. By way of example, let’s take the issue of a CCC by the BCA. It would be a simple statement of fact if you confirmed that a CCC had been issued; but you would most assuredly be putting the noose around your neck to state that a CCC had been issued “and all compliance requirements have been met”. If it is later found that the CCC was wrongly issued, your statement will join you into that problem. It is easy to apply the same principle to all sorts of warranties and producer statements by others, where the issue will be whether the contract requirements (or consultant requirements) have been met.
Similarly, if you have adequately observed the work, you could reasonably state that the contract requirements set out in the documentation provided by you under the terms of your engagement have, to the best of your knowledge and belief, (and if relevant, in reliance on listed documentation by others) been satisfied. But there is no reason why you should put yourself at risk by saying that the work complies with this or that law or regulation, or that it is fit for purpose and/or meets the expectations of anyone else.