Opinion

White paper on the legal aspects of the ISO 19650 series needs your support

5 June 2019

‘To date, there has been no guidance aimed specifically at the legal community’s needs and the legal considerations of managing information in accordance with the ISO 19650 series.’ May Winfield

Following four years of development, the ISO 19650 series was published by ISO at the end of 2018, and subsequently published by the BSI in January 2019, along with the UK National Annex and UK Transition Guidance (PD 19650-0). Built on the successful UK 1192 series, the introduction of the ISO 19650 series has gone some way to improving clarity around the information management process.

Yet the legal community is still struggling to understand the true impact of information management and BIM generally. Guidance being developed in the UK and EU will no doubt help the level of understanding within the legal community.

However, to date, there has been no guidance aimed specifically at the legal community’s needs and the legal considerations of managing information in accordance with the ISO 19650 series.

Many readers will have encountered, or be in the midst of, disagreements or even expensive disputes arising from introducing new digitally-enabled ways of working on projects without the legal impact of doing so being clarified. Often, it gets to that stage because the contracts do not clearly set out the position or parties have (sometimes wildly) different expectations.

Eight years on from the Government Construction Strategy, many contracts still contain vague obligations and undefined terms such as “The project will be delivered to BIM Level 2” or “Achieve BIM” and disputes are encountered as a result of incomplete or vague documentation.

The Winfield Shillcock Report will be a white paper on the legal considerations of the ISO 19650 series written for the international legal community. Due for release in autumn 2019, the report will be written by May Winfield, a legal specialist in BIM and related technologies and co-author of the Winfield Rock Report (co-written with Sarah Rock of Gowling WLG), in collaboration with Paul Shillcock, a specialist on the industry standards and best practice for the management of information and author of ISO 19650-2 .

The intention is to consider the current (and assumed) legal understanding and impact of the ISO 19650 series; how progress can be made in this area; and provide practical suggestions for the legal community and those who instruct them. It will include analysis based on the writers' experience and is supported by an industry survey and interviews with leading legal advisors around the world.

However, for the Winfield Shillcock Report to be as useful and relevant as possible, the writers need your help. First, they are looking to conduct short interviews with lawyers and those preparing/negotiating contract documents for their experience and interpretation of the ISO19650 series. If you or your legal representatives are interested, please email may.winfield@burohappold.com or paul@operam.co.uk.

Finally, if you can spare four minutes, please give your views in this short survey – make sure your views are heard and taken into account in this report:

https://www.operam.co.uk/a-white-paper-on-the-legal-aspects-of-the-iso-19650-series-take-the-survey/

Paul Shillcock is the author of ISO 19650-2 and the UK National Annex, and co-author of PAS 1192-2 and the UK Transition Guidance. He is managing director of Operam, which provides specialist advice and education on the latest industry standards and best practice for the management of information. 

May Winfield is an associate director at BuroHappold Engineering. She is a senior construction solicitor with a specialism in BIM and related technologies, and chair of BIM4Legal (@BIM4Legal) which provides a neutral form for the legal community to gain knowledge on information management.