Ian Potter Southbank Centre, University of Melbourne (Vic) by John Wardle Architects. Photographer: Trevor Mein. Traditional land owners: the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.Read time: 11 minutes

An increasing number of large projects are now being delivered under novated agreements – a common method of construction procurement that, if not managed carefully and documented thoroughly, may potentially increase the exposure and subsequent liability of an architect.

Novation is a legal arrangement between parties to a contract, to substitute one of the original parties (the ‘outgoing’ party) with a new party (the ‘incoming’ party) and at least one party continues on under the contract (the ‘continuing’ party). The original contract ends and a new contract is formed on the same terms, on and from the date of novation, but between the incoming party and the continuing party. Typically, the owner is the outgoing party, the architect is the continuing party and the owner’s head contract is the incoming party.