In July 2013 RIBA Enterprises gathered together experts from various disciplines involved in the construction industry, to debate the development of legal documentation in response to the increasing adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and in particular the BIM Protocol published by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in February 2013.

The Protocol document provides the legal framework which will facilitate and promote the use of BIM. It has been prepared following extensive consultation with CIC members and with end-users in the wider construction industry.

Hosted by Simmons & Simmons at its CityPoint offices in the heart of the City of London, this roundtable event provided a timely opportunity to canvass opinion on a range of BIM-related legal issues including responsibilities and liabilities, copyright and cost.

Chaired by Koko Udom, Head of Contracts and Law at RIBA Enterprises, the debate benefitted from the participation of Simon Rawlinson of EC Harris, who is Chair of the Legal, Contracts and Insurance Working Group of the UK Government’s BIM Task Group and also a CIC Executive Board Member.

This programme is the first of a three part discussion and debate:

Part 1: CIC BIM Protocol
Part 2: Technology, Procurement Methods and Processes
Part 3: Construction, Post Construction and Future Outlook

Key learning points

Part 3: Construction, Post Construction and Future Outlook

  • How an appropriate legal framework can ensure the benefits of BIM are delivered at the FM stage, is discussed
  • The uptake of BIM by developers and clients, and the legal assurances required to facilitate wider adoption are examined
  • What impact BIM at Level 2 might have on the way of working in the years ahead and in achieving a higher standard of health and safety in projects is explored
  • A clear explanation of the intent of the 2016 deadline for the use of BIM in projects
  • A discussion on legal expertise and associated costs at this early adopter stage of BIM
  • Future outlook of legal issues in BIM at stage 2 of the maturity index.

About the contributors

Richard Dyton, Partner, Simmons & Simmons Projects Group, London, specialises in PPP/PFI concessions and non-contentious construction law in the UK and internationally, with a particular focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors

Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research & Insight, EC Harris, is responsible for developing the firm’s strategic research and insight team globally; he is also a member of the government BIM Task Group Core Team and leads the team responsible for the commercial Work packages including the CIC BIM Protocol

Dale Sinclair, Director, Dyer, leads the working groups on internal processes and envelope technology. He has chaired the RIBA Large Practice Group and is the editor of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013

Assad Maqbool, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins' Projects & Construction department, advises commercial clients and local government bodies on non-contentious construction law

Rob Driscoll, Head of Commercial and Legal- Building and Engineering Services Association, leads a team of construction lawyers servicing the needs of contractors which consists of work on procurement, commercial, contract administration, and dispute and project completion. Rob was also nominated by RICS as the author of isurv Online JCT Sub-Contract expert Guidance

Casey Rutland, Associate Director, Arup Associates, is responsible for the Architectural application of BIM processes throughout the company's offices. He is also the overall BIM coordinator on Arup’s major projects

Koko Udom, Head of Contracts and Law at RIBA Enterprises

Charles Rich, Principal, Charles Rich Consultancy; the consultancy provides expert advice for better decisions to clients in the property and construction industries. Charles is retained by Middlesex University Institute of Work Based Learning to help promote and run the program and currently is helping the University develop a Masters in BIM Management

Roland Finch, Technical Author NBS, is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Arbitrator with over 30 years’ experience in construction, working for both public and private sector employers, and including several high profile projects. He joined NBS in 2000, and specialises in Contract Preliminaries and Project Management.

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The information contained in the programmes is not intended and accordingly shall not be relied upon either as a substitute for professional advice or judgement or to provide legal or other advice with respect to any particular circumstance. RIBA Enterprises accepts no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the information contained in the programmes.