Professionals must examine their terms of appointment and standard forms of contract, following a House of Lords ruling.

Hill Dickinson lawyer Ruth Lawrence said contractors and sub-contractors were not liable for losses caused by their negligence.

She said this was because of a provision within the standard form contracts, drawn up by the Joint Contracts Tribunal for joint insurance between client and contractor.

Lawrence, who is a professional indemnity partner, acted for the insurers of Hoare Lea & Partners in the case of Co-operative Retail Services v Taylor Young Partnerships & Hoare Lea & Partners.

The provision also prevented architects and engineers from pursuing contractors for contributions.