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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*

ABSTRACT1

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.

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