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Pushing the boundaries: the impact of the changing nature of the professions in construction law.

Christie, David S.



The way in which the role of the professions is understood in society is changing. One of the traditional effects of being a profession was that the relevant group was regarded as having a virtual monopoly over the provision of services in the area in which it operated. As the understanding of what a 'profession' is has been put under pressure and changed, there is increasing scope for competition between the professions in the provision of particular services. There is increasing scope for 'turf wars' between professions as the boundaries between them are tested through competition for work. This is particularly apparent in the construction industry where there are number of traditional professions operating in similar fields - and in conjunction with other roles which have many 'profession-like' features. Much of this requires commercial and sociological consideration. These will be discussed briefly but the focus of this paper will be on the emerging legal issues in this area. This article looks at recent cases where the courts have looked at issues which arise when professions encroach upon each other's areas of operation. Moreover, in Scotland, a new 'profession' drawing on those with construction industry experience has been granted rights to essentially compete with the legal profession in presenting cases in court. Following discussion of these developments, the lessons this might have for the future coexistence of the professions will be discussed.


CHRISTIE, D.S. 2016. Pushing the boundaries: the impact of the changing nature of the professions in construction law. Construction law journal [online], 32(8), pages 849-860. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 31, 2016
Publication Date Oct 31, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 1, 2017
Journal Construction law journal
Print ISSN 0267-2359
Electronic ISSN 0267-2359
Publisher Sweet and Maxwell
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 8
Pages 849-860
Keywords Commercial attorneys; Construction professionals; Legal profession; Rights of audience; Scotland
Public URL
Publisher URL


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