Loss Prevention Guidance

Guide to Collateral Warranties: Version 2

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Published in 2003 – This guide has been superseded by Loss Prevention Guidance 024

When the first edition of the AGS Guide to Collateral Warranties was published in 1993 rising costs and shrinking margins were seen as threats to the quest for excellence in geotechnical engineering and the growing burden of collateral warranties was exacerbating both those trends. The original document was therefore written as a guide to the pitfalls facing geospecialists when asked to sign collateral warranties.

The latter part of the 1990s and the start of the 21st Century have seen further increases in commercial pressures. New issues which impact on the commercial operation of geotechnical and geoenvironmental specialists include the current skills shortage, recent substantial increases in insurance premiums, and new legislation and regulation. The latter are especially applicable to environmental issues. As a result, appropriate commercial risk management is now more essential than ever before.

This second edition brings the Guide fully up to date with the changes since 1993. It aims to empower geospecialists to understand the issues associated with collateral warranties, and hence to be aware of the risks and of strategies to deal with them. It deserves to become a key source of reference for all geospecialists who are involved with negotiation of collateral warranties. However, as in the first edition, the AGS will have performed a disservice if it were not to emphasize the importance of taking legal advice when needed.

This book is designed to alert the geospecialist to situations where specialist legal advice should be sought and is not a substitute for it. The first edition was written by John Barber, a chartered civil engineer and barrister with wide experience of geotechnical problems. The quality of that first edition is demonstrated by the fact that it has remained in use for ten years. The second edition builds on the authoritative advice of the first and has been written by Steven Francis, a partner in DLA Solicitors.