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FITNESS FOR PURPOSE V REASONABLE SKILL AND CARE: HOW DO ENGLISH PRINCIPLES REGARDING STANDARDS OF CARE FIT IN CIVIL LAW JURISDICTIONS?

International Construction Law Review

FITNESS FOR PURPOSE V REASONABLE SKILL AND CARE: HOW DO ENGLISH PRINCIPLES REGARDING STANDARDS OF CARE FIT IN CIVIL LAW JURISDICTIONS? Ulrich Helm Partner and Head of Disputes, Germany, Mayer Brown International LLP George Fisher Senior Associate, Mayer Brown International LLP Patricia Ugalde Revilla Associate, Mayer Brown International LLP Marcelo Richter Global International Arbitration Legal Assistant, Mayer Brown International LLP * ABSTRACT 1 English law recognises two different standards of care that a construction contract may apply to the obligations of the contractor towards the employer: fitness for purpose, and reasonable skill and care. The article reviews how these respective obligations are interpreted under English law and asks whether civil law jurisdictions (in particular, in France, Brazil, Germany and Spain) recognise a similar distinction. The article then addresses how these jurisdictions in practice apply fitness for purpose and reasonable skill and care provisions set out in construction contracts. * Ulrich Helm is a Partner in the Construction and Engineering group and Head of Disputes practice in Germany of Mayer Brown International LLP, based in Frankfurt (email: [email protected]). George Fisher is a Senior Associate in the Construction and Engineering and International Arbitration practices of Mayer Brown International LLP, based in London (email: [email protected]). Patricia Ugalde Revilla is an Associate in the Construction and Engineering and International Arbitration practices of Mayer Brown International LLP based in Paris (email: [email protected]). Marcelo Richter is a Global International Arbitration Legal Assistant of Mayer Brown International LLP, based in London (email: [email protected]) 1 The opinions and views expressed in this article do not reflect in any way those of Mayer Brown LLP and are not intended to convey legal advice on any general principles of law. 40

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