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November 4, 2021

A WTW A&E podcast series on risk management topics for architects and engineers

A WTW A&E podcast series focused on risk management for Architects and Engineers. Our host, Dan Buelow, Managing Director of WTW A&E, engages experts across the A&E spectrum on a wide range of critical topics and risk trends impacting design professionals across North America.

Included in the series:

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Design-Build

Construction Administration

Cyber Risk

Negotiating Contracts

ACEC National Podcast


Episode 13:Design-Build: A Path Forward


In part two of our discussion on Design-Build (DB), Dan and David Hatem, a Partner at Donovan Hatem LLP, discuss David’s recent white paper release on addressing the inherent and unsustainable risks associated with DB infrastructure projects. Dan and David focus on the need for a more “progressive” approach to Design-Build along with the critical issues identified in David’s whitepaper including improving procurement and contractual practices.

Episode 13: Design-Build: A Path Forward

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About our guests
David Hatem
David Hatem

David Hatem is a partner in the Boston-based law firm, Donovan Hatem LLP. Nationally recognized for his expertise in representing engineers, architects and construction management professionals, he leads the firm’s Professional Practices Group which serves design and construction professionals. He is regularly called upon by this country’s leading architect-engineering firms to provide risk management strategies and solutions, especially on major subsurface projects.


Episode 12:Assessing Design-Build Risk from an Underwriters' Perspective


Design-Build (DB) has become a real concern among professional liability insurance underwriters as we’ve seen an adverse development in claim trends – especially on infrastructure projects. In this episode, Dan and Val Onderka, VP of Underwriting for Ironshore’s Designers & Contractors Professional Liability (DCPL) team, discuss some of the reasons behind these claim trends – including what an underwriter is looking for when assessing and selecting a given design build project. Val and Dan also discuss “progressive design build” and changes that all parties should consider in order to reduce their exposures to claims and costly disputes.

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Episode 12: Assessing Design-Build Risk from an Underwriters' Perspective

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About our guest
Valerie Onderka
Valerie Onderka

Valerie Onderka leads Ironshore’s Designers & Contractors Professional Liability (DCPL) team, which focuses on providing underwriting and risk management services to architects, engineers and design-build contractors throughout the construction industry. Over the span of her 43-year career in professional liability insurance, Valerie has specialized in the Designers and Contractors market segment, and has an extensive background serving brokers and insureds alike.

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Episode 11:Cyber Attack Response


Every design professional firm must be prepared to respond to a cyber-attack against their business. In this podcast episode Dan and guests Alex Ricardo of Beazley and Carter Boardman from the Colorado based engineering firm Merrick, discuss developing an Incident Response Plan and specific measures a firm's key stakeholders can, and should, take to mitigate costly interruptions to their business.

Episode 11: Cyber Attack Response

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About our guests
Carter Boardman
Carter Boardman

Carter Boardman currently serves as Vice President for Contracts & Risk Management for Merrick & Company. Carter drafts client contracts and reviews and comments on client generated contracts, interfaces directly with brokers and major underwriters on company insurance related requirements and issues, and works closely with outside support services for legal, bonds and special insurance requirements.

Alex Ricardo
Alex Ricardo

Alex Ricardo serves Beazley’s Cyber & Executive Risk Focus Group with managing business development initiatives for the Beazley Breach Response Program. Alex is based in New York City and provides support and guidance to Beazley insured-base from both a Breach Preparedness and Breach Response prospective. Alex’s background in risk management as well as the software industry combined with his extensive knowledge of security threats and mitigation best practices assures his clients of a comprehensive problem-solving approach.


Episode 10:CYA with CA (Construction Administration) Part II – The Role of The Design Professional


In this episode, Dan and guest Bob Stanton, VP of Claims for WTW A&E, continue the conversation from our previous episode, CYA with CA Part I, where Dan and Jeff Coleman discussed on the role of the consultant on the job site and the standard of care when providing CA services. This episode will focus on the review of critical issues to consider when it comes to CA services and contract formation, scope of services and documentation.

Episode 10: CYA with CA (Construction Administration) Part II – The Role of The Design Professional

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About our guest
Bob Stanton
Bob Stanton

Bob is a Client Advocate and Risk Management Specialist for WTW A&E and is responsible for assisting clients in contract review, risk management recommendations and claims advocacy. He has over 30 years of claims experience and for the last 20+ years has specialized in the area of Architect & Engineers professional liability claims and risk management.


Episode 9:CYA with CA (Construction Administration) Part I - The Role of The Design Professional


Job site related claims, including delay and bodily injury claims against design professionals, is a significant risk for every design firm. Understanding the role of the design professional in Construction Administration (CA) is critical when it comes to effectively managing this risk. In this podcast Dan and guest Jeff Coleman discuss the pitfalls and opportunities design firms face when it comes to construction administration – and what every member of a design team visiting site needs to know when it comes to the standard of care.

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Episode 9: CYA with CA (Construction Administration) Part I - The Role of The Design Professional

Listen to this episode on:
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About our guest
Bob Stanton
Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman, Esq., is a founding partner at Coleman and Erickson LLC where he focuses his practice on construction law, professional liability defense, concrete construction and general business law, including insurance and coverage. Jeff has been a licensed structural engineer since 1977 and a practicing attorney since 1984 and provides clients with a single resource for both legal and risk management issues.


Episode 8:Assessing Professional Liability (PL) Risk: An Underwriter's Perspective


Architects and engineers take on considerable risks which can vary significantly based on project types, disciplines, client types and delivery methods. In this episode, Dan sits down with Mark Blankenship, Senior Underwriter for Liberty International, to discuss the underwriting process and how insurance carriers assess, underwrite and price A&E professional liability risk.

Episode 8: Assessing Professional Liability (PL) Risk: An Underwriter's Perspective

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About our guest
Bob Stanton
Mark Blankenship

Mark Blankenship is a Senior Underwriter for Liberty International, with over 25 years experience specializing in architects and engineers professional liability. Mark began his career as a claim supervisor where he learned to evaluate exposures and develop defense strategies with the help of some of the best specialist defense attorneys in the country.


Episode 7:Getting the Most out of your Professional Liability (PL)


Professional liability (PL) is by far the greatest exposure – and P&C insurance spend for any design firm. In this episode, Dan has a discussion with Bob Stanton, VP of Claims for WTW A&E, on some important coverage features of an A&E PL policy that every A&E firm should be aware of in order to get the most out of this coverage – and what they bought and paid for.

Episode 7: Getting the Most out of your Professional Liability (PL)
Listen to this episode on:
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For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Bob Stanton
Bob Stanton

Bob is a Client Advocate and Risk Management Specialist for WTW A&E and is responsible for assisting clients in contract review, risk management recommendations and claims advocacy. He has over 30 years of claims experience and for the last 20+ years has specialized in the area of Architect & Engineers professional liability claims and risk management.


Episode 6:Managing Scope Creep


Every design firm is faced with managing scope creep and the challenges of project management to control resources to meet a certain objective by a specific date within a finite budget. Dan and guest Andy Mendelson from Berkley DP engage in an interactive discussion on how to manage the change process to maintain your client relationships and your firms profitability through the use of some invaluable risk management tips – and effective communication and documentation practices.

Episode 6: Managing Scope Creep
Listen to this episode on:
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For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Colleen Palmer
Andy Mendelson

Andy Mendelson is a design industry leader in risk management and contracts. Andy joined Berkley DP in July 2013 after a 35-year career as a licensed architect and firm principal. Andy directs Berkley Design Professional’s efforts to provide design professionals with leading-edge, risk and practice management resources, tools and training.


Episode 5:Managing Cyber Liability Risk: Part I


We are now in the “hacker era” for cyber liability and design firms are a favorite target. In this episode Dan and guest Alex Ricardo, an expert in cyber liability from Beazley’s Cyber & Executive Risk Focus Group discuss this evolving risk and what A&E firms must be prepared for to mitigate their risk against a cyber attack.

Episode 5: Managing Cyber Liability Risk: Part I
Listen to this episode on:
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For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Colleen Palmer
Alex Ricardo

Alex Ricardo serves Beazley’s Cyber & Executive Risk Focus Group with managing business development initiatives for the Beazley Breach Response Program. Alex is based in New York City and provides support and guidance to Beazley insured-base from both a Breach Preparedness and Breach Response prospective. Alex’s background in risk management as well as the software industry combined with his extensive knowledge of security threats and mitigation best practices assures his clients of a comprehensive problem-solving approach.


Episode 4:Negotiating Contracts: The Dreaded Indemnity Clause


In this fourth episode on negotiating contracts, we take a deep dive in discussing the dreaded indemnity clause and review what every design firm needs to watch out for – and negotiate - in order to avoid taking on unreasonable and uninsurable risks.

Episode 4: Negotiating Contracts: The Dreaded Indemnity Clause
Listen to this episode on:
Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Colleen Palmer
Colleen Palmer

Colleen Palmer is an A&E Risk Manager for Beazley, joining in 2007. Before joining Beazley, Colleen was a practicing attorney in Boston, MA where she focused on assisting architects and engineers. She specialized in providing risk management services to design professionals on a nationwide basis.


Episode 3:Negotiating Contracts: Dealbreakers


In this third episode of our four part series on negotiating contracts, we discuss seven specific “Deal Breakers” which are Client-drafted clauses that are so burdensome and onerous the design firm must insist it be deleted from any agreement, or substantially modified, to avoid assuming significant and possibly uninsurable risk.

Episode 3: Negotiating Contracts: Dealbreakers
Listen to this episode on:
Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Doug Palandech
Doug Palandech

Doug Palandech, a founding shareholder for Foran and Glennon concentrates his litigation practice on construction, design professional and legal liability, products liability, and first-party property cases. The contours of Illinois construction law have in large measure been shaped by the appellate decisions from the cases Doug has handled at the trial level.


Episode 2:Negotiating Contracts: Deal Makers


In this second podcast of our four part series on negotiating contracts, we discuss seven specific “Deal Makers” which are certain contract clauses that are so important to the protection of your firm that you want them included in each agreement you sign. If your client won't agree to these vital provisions, you may want to seriously consider whether to accept or decline the project.

Episode 2: Negotiating Contracts: Deal Makers
Listen to this episode on:
Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Doug Palandech
Doug Palandech

Doug Palandech, a founding shareholder for Foran and Glennon concentrates his litigation practice on construction, design professional and legal liability, products liability, and first-party property cases. The contours of Illinois construction law have in large measure been shaped by the appellate decisions from the cases Doug has handled at the trial level.


Episode 1:Negotiating Contracts: Critical Basics


In this first episode of our four part series on negotiating contracts, we discuss the critical basics of negotiating professional agreements and tips on using contract formation as an important vehicle to establishing client expectations and mitigating a design firm’s risk against costly claims and client disputes.

Episode 1: Negotiating Contracts: Critical Basics
Listen to this episode on:
Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

For continuing education credits, we ask that you complete three (3) multiple choice questions. Upon successfully attaining 100% correct, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.


About our guest
Doug Palandech
Doug Palandech

Doug Palandech, a founding shareholder for Foran and Glennon concentrates his litigation practice on construction, design professional and legal liability, products liability, and first-party property cases. The contours of Illinois construction law have in large measure been shaped by the appellate decisions from the cases Doug has handled at the trial level.

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