Around Australia, one of the most significant changes to liability legislation over recent decades has been the introduction of proportionate liability, which essentially limits the liability of engineers when something goes wrong on a project to the extent to which any fault or negligence on their part has contributed to the problem in question.

However, a potential problem arises with regard to the ability of parties to a contract across most states to agree to ‘contract out’ of proportionate liability, in which case parties within a construction project agree (or one or more parties to a contract forces other parties to agree) that proportionate…