Geotechnics and the Law, Glasgow

7 November, 2017 | 17:30 - 19:30

Venue address:

Teacher Building
14 St. Enoch Square
G1 4DB
United Kingdom
Geotechnical engineers need to know how the law impacts their work.
Geotechnical engineers need to know how the law impacts their work.

About this event

It is a notorious trope within the construction industry that "unforeseen ground conditions" are a fertile hotbed of legal claims.

Whether or not this is true, it is unarguable that geotechnical engineers face special challenges when seeking to characterise design parameters that other engineering disciplines can ordinarily take as given; and will often encounter commercial as well as technical hurdles in pursuit of a sufficient level of data on with which to construct a unique and robust geotechnical ground model in anticipation of design.

This talk examines the extent to which different jurisdictions have defined the limits of negligence when geotechnical engineers and geoscientists have, in the laws view, fallen short of the necessary level of diligence; both in the collecting of data (its nature and extent); and in its analysis for use in engineering design. In the process it will look at how different jurisdictions treat evidence relevant to these processes.

An emerging theme will be the use of stochastic modelling of geotechnical data and use of probabilistic calculations that reflect the true uncertainty in the data set; and how this approach is currently treated under the law.

Registration and refreshments from 5.30pm for 6.15pm.


For more information, please contact:

Christopher Currie

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Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed on any matters by the presenters or participants during or in connection with this presentation are solely the views of the authors of the respective comments and/or opinions and must not be taken to be the views of ICE or any other organisation. ICE makes no representations, warranties or assurances concerning any information provided in these presentations and accepts no responsibility for the content and/or accuracy.


Simon Parry

Simon Parry is a chartered civil engineer, with over twenty years' experience as a consulting geotechnical engineer and hydrogeologist. Whilst working in Hong Kong and the USA, he took a distance learning LLB in English Law; initially being drawn to understand how the law treated statistical descriptions of uncertainty in both professional decision-making and within the evidence involved in establishing culpable negligence/delict. This subject remains relevant to practising consulting geotechnical engineers and geoscientists today.

He subsequently worked as one of an in-house legal team for a major firm of international consulting engineers, involved in contract negotiation and dispute resolution. He currently works as an independent consultant, where work includes providing consulting services to the European Commission, advising on the adequacy of both EU and member states law in respect of geo-risks involved in the exploration and exploitation of shale gas.