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Bad consultants

kjpn

has anyone had to fire a project consultant and gotten into arguments or litigation about what they are owed? I had to fire an unresponsive consultant and they are trying to bill me and the client an egregious amount.

I am just starting out as a solo practitioner and these kinds of disputes give me a lot of stress because I think about the potential for a lawsuit or something. Because I am solo practitioner I think I look like an easier target to bully than a larger firm.

Any good stories or perspective along these lines, or stories about dealing more generally with bad consultants? 


 
Nov 26, 22 9:32 pm
SneakyPete

Say no. Wait for the lawsuit. 

Nov 27, 22 12:04 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

We have recently had similar issues and our effort to mitigate has been to add supplements to the standard AIA Architect-Consultant contract. We write in very specific lists of deliverables and related due dates along with requirements that the consultants perform quality control on their stuff and format their drawings in way that matches ours.   Failure to perform any of these will give us grounds for termination and we have a paper trail to establish proof of non-performance.

Sadly, I've found It's all too common for engineers to over-bill their clients and I'm not surprised that your person tried to invoice you a huge amount of money for doing little to no work.

Nov 27, 22 6:31 pm  · 
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kjpn

This is helpful to know, I agree being really specific about deliverables is the best approach
… thank you.

Nov 28, 22 5:51 pm  · 
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luvu

" I had to fire an unresponsive consultant and they are trying to bill me and the client an egregious amount " 

Surely they can only bill one of parties not both ?

Nov 27, 22 7:23 pm  · 
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kjpn

Yes but they are trying to entangle my client into the situation since they have their contact info. I’m sure it doesn’t matter since I am the only signatory on our previous
contract.

Nov 28, 22 5:51 pm  · 
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bennyc

He is your consultant, so at the end of the day, you should manage how they deliver to you, schedule and quality. I am a sole practitioner as well and have had to withhold payments, yell on the phone, and just ruin relationships until you find the right one or learn how to be a better architect and make sure you set deadlines, clear contracts, and clear deliverables. 

Always best to communicate clearly, or even come to a trade off agreement for services as opposed to go to litigation or any type of arbitration where you are wasting your time and efforts and dealing with lawyers. 

Nov 27, 22 8:00 pm  · 
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kjpn

Hi Benny, this isn’t a situation where I am to blame. The consultant is simply acting in bad faith. I learned I can’t force someone to be responsive or do quality work that
doesn’t want to.

Nov 28, 22 5:54 pm  · 
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We've had to fire consultants.  The simplest way is to explain why and pay them for the work they've done up to that point.  Like the OP I've experienced one consultant try to to bill for more than they've actually done.  When pressed to show that they had done the work the consultant backed off.  

Nov 29, 22 9:50 am  · 
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