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WTW A&E Monthly Webinar Series

Monthly WTW A&E webinars on a range of risk management topics and issues.

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We are pleased to present our 2024 WTW A&E webinar schedule along with program summaries and registration links. Please register for each program by clicking on the registration link below each summary.

Upcoming webinars

Previous webinars

Webinar details

Contract Negotiation Strategies

June 10, 2024

You want a fair and balanced contract, but can you explain why you should get the terms you are asking for? This program will explain the guiding principles that underly a balanced contract. Risk transfer devices will be identified, and their significance will be explained. Mark Blankenship, Director of Risk Management for WTW A&E, and attorney Katherine Jones from O’Hagan Meyer will offer guidance on how to prioritize your negotiation strategies. The potential impact of important clauses will be discussed with a focus on finding areas of common interest with the owner. Integration of subconsultant agreements will also be discussed along with how to get additional insured status on the contractor’s general liability policy.

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Ethics for Architects and Engineers

July 8, 2024

What are the ethical obligations of the design professional when it comes to the health, safety and welfare of the general public? Jeff Coleman, from Coleman Law Firm, will be presenting his very popular program to address this very question. What are the potential risks and liabilities to the design professional surrounding accessibility, energy efficiency, issues relative to conflicts between existing codes and client requests? What steps should you take in the event an error or omission is discovered? This promises to be a lively discussion that will address all of these questions as well as the rules and regulations governing the A&E practice.

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Claim Stories Around the Campfire

August 12, 2024

Summer is here and it’s time to gather around the campfire and tell some scary claim stories. Join us as for an interactive discussion on claim trends and specific risk management tips A&E firms should consider in order to mitigate their risk from costly claims and client disputes. Mark Blankenship, Director of Risk Management for WTW A&E, Anthony Carolei, Director of Risk Management for Professional Liability for The Hanover Insurance Group and a prominent A&E defense attorney will review some recent claims against design professionals and valuable lessons learned. This is a great program for all levels of staff!

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QA/QC and Documentation

September 9, 2024

In this webinar, we will be discussing best practices for quality assurance and quality control. Claims based on technical errors are on the rise. Learn what successful firms are doing in terms of project guidelines, continuing education and information management. We will conclude with an examination of a critical and often neglected area of risk management within the design practice: effective communication and documentation. Most claims against A&E firms are due to unmet expectations, of which poor communications and documentation is a leading factor. This program will review the challenges and exposures associated with poor communication and documentation within the design and construction practice and offer practical measures your firm can take to significantly reduce your risk to costly claims and client disputes.

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Annual Halloween Special – Contracts from the Darkside

October 31, 2024

Put on a scary outfit and join us for our annual WTW A&E Halloween webinar special: Contracts from the Darkside! We will be taking another look back at some of the scariest contract clauses our A&E clients have been spooked with over the last year. This special webinar promises to scare you straight and prepare you for that next horrific owner drafted contract. Once again, we will discuss some practical tips on how to negotiate fair and insurable professional agreements. This program will be presented by:

  • Dan Buelow, Managing Director of WTW A&E
  • Mark Blankenship, Director of Risk Management for WTW A&E
  • Doug Palandech from Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff

Join us if you dare!

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Progressive Design-Build

November 18, 2024

David Hatem, Esq., returns for an important update on alternative delivery. Specifically, progressive design-build (PDB) and other forms of early contractor involvement are gaining an interest and utilization in infrastructure projects in North America.

  • Will these delivery approaches reduce the risk of professional liability?
  • Will they increase the availability and capacity of project specific professional liability (PSPL) coverage on infrastructure projects?
  • What are some of the principal contractual issues in PDB?
  • What are the relevant considerations and processes for PSPL procurement and underwriting in the PDB method?

David will address all these questions and more!

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Construction Contract Administration and Close Out

December 16, 2024

We wrap up the 2024 webinar season with our fourth WTW A&E Cornerstone. The construction phase is where the rubber hits the road. Drawn from real-life cases in the media and courts, this program will present strategies for dealing with some of the most challenging issues associated with CCA services:

  • How to manage change requests
  • What to do when the contractor’s work is not in conformance with the plans
  • How to avoid expanding your duties by assuming responsibility for safety
  • Best practices for handling shop drawings and pay requests

As we say in Chicago, be at the table or be on the menu!

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Previous webinar details

Artificial Intelligence – Opportunities and Concerns

May 13, 2024

Mark Blankenship, Director of Risk Management for WTW A&E, will lead a discussion with some industry experts on the evolving risks associated with AI in the design profession. Mark is Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on AI for the ACEC National Risk Management Committee and will engage WTW global experts on AI along with some legal and design professionals for a lively discussion on this important topic. This program recognizes the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence and surveys the current applications. Concerns are identified in a survey of the current legal environment, and guidance is provided based on relevant legal cases. We will conclude with recommendations regarding best practices for implementation of artificial intelligence in a professional practice.

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Project Change Management – Changes are Inevitable, Crises are Avoidable

April 8, 2024

To paraphrase a famous movie line, “There are two projects: The one you plan for and then the one you live with after that.” Drawn from real life projects which experienced “challenging” changes in the midst of either design or construction, this program develops the tools to anticipate and identify the most frequent issues driving such change and provides strategies to prepare for them in advance. David Ericksen, from the law firm Murtaugh Treglia Stern & Deily LLP, will be back to lead lively discussion on managing change!

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The 7 Deadly Words You Must Avoid on Shop Drawings and Construction Phase Communications

March 11, 2024

Communication is a fundamental component of construction contract administration, but all communication is not risk-free communication. Misconceptions, risks and errors of judgement frequently impact CCA procedures, as we explored in our record-breaking 2023 webinar “Why We No Longer ‘Stamp’ Shop Drawings.” In this new webinar, we will explore specific risks that can occur in CCA communications, including emails and during the “review” and “approval” of submittals, RFIs, substitutions and other CCA documents. We will also have a Q&A with our special guest on how risks can arise from the consequences of using seven deadly words during the construction phase.

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Valentine Special – Are We in Love? Client Selection and Project Evaluation

February 14, 2024

Love is in the air once again for our annual WTW A&E Valentine Special. Every year, we spice this program up as we consider the critical and evolving “Go/No-Go” decisions every design firm must make when evaluating new project opportunities and prospective clients. This is a great time of year to think about relationships, and who you want to spend your firm’s valuable resources on. Some firms are kind of loose when it comes to entering prospective relationships and often end up singing the blues, while others take a more methodical approach. Join us for an interactive discussion around critical risk identification considerations when it comes to evaluating prospective projects, project team capabilities, financials, contract formation and client relationships.

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Emerging Risks and Claim Trends (Industry Survey Results)

January 8, 2024

Join us for an interactive panel discussion with leaders from some of the top A&E PL insurance carriers in the industry. Dan Buelow, Managing Director of WTW A&E, will moderate a panel discussion on emerging risks and claim trends in the A&E industry. Our distinguished panel will be reviewing the results from our recent WTW A&E industry survey of senior claim managers and underwriters from 14 A&E professional liability carriers. This will be an interactive discussion on the business risks and claim trends challenging the design professional community. The group will share and discuss valuable “lessons learned” and offer risk management tips for managing evolving risks in the design practice. This is a great program for all levels of staff!

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