Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Building (10 November, page 58) has significant implications for construction professionals.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents said that bribery to obtain a contract was either moderately or not very corrupt, and 4% said it was not corrupt at all. Bribery is a common law and statutory offence.

While these results are in themselves worrying, they also lay bare the need for professionals to safeguard themselves against these subcontractors whose behaviour, at best misinformed and at worst criminal, could see them saddled with onerous law suits and sorely affect their professional indemnity (PI) premiums.

We would urge all professionals who subcontract and who hold PI insurance to check the adequacy of their policies and those of their subcontractors to ensure they are not held financially accountable for the incompetence or criminal behaviour of others.

Matt Farman, director, Howden