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False claim

LETTERS

I have read with interest the responses to the deliberately provocative article of my colleague, Karen Gidwani, respecting partnering.

I find it quite extraordinary that hard bitten members of the industry can so readily believe that site agents, employers' representatives or, more particularly, liquidators or receivers of insolvent companies, will change their spots overnight and embrace a new culture of openness and co-operation that ignores the bottom line.

It is tantamount to the Christians convincing themselves that the lions will not bite if they can only form a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.

Karen and I are, in fact, very firm believers in partnering. It is undoubtedly the way of the future. But we also see the need to ensure a prudent relationship between the contract and the partnering arrangement.

To suggest that lawyers have a cynical interest in seeing partnering fail is as convincing as to suggest that engineers have a cynical interest in bridges collapsing so that they can act as experts in the resulting litigation.

Dr Julian Critchlow, Fenwick Elliott solicitors, 353 Strand, London, WC2R 0HT

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