By Dr Nizar Kochery Doha
Question: We are into designing of projects since 2001 and we have engaged in many projects in Qatar. Now we received a notice from a client for defects in works, seeking compensation. We have completed our scope of works without any delay and to the satisfaction of the employer. A detailed analysis showed that the defects were due to the improper execution of works. In such a case, being the designers, are we liable for the defects? Please advise.
Answer: According to Article 712 of the Civil Law, if the work is limited to the design of the building or structure in whole or in part, the designers shall be responsible for the defects attributed to the design prepared by them but not for the defects due to the execution method. In addition, if the employer entrusts the designer to supervise the execution in whole or in part, he shall also be liable for the defects attributed to the method of execution supervised.
breach of trust
Q: Our company did not pay salary for two months and we have filed a complaint before the labour office. The department summoned the manager for hearing. The manager complained against me for using company money for personal use. He also submitted a criminal complaint before the police for taking company money. In such a case, what action will the police take? As the salary was unpaid, I have used company money for personal use. Please advise.
A: As per Article 362 of the Qatar Penal Laws, whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, bonds or other movable properties, dishonestly misappropriates or converts that property to his own use or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law or contract, express or implied, commits criminal breach of trust. In such cases, the person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding QR10,000.
Unauthorised use of
company trade name
Q: What is the remedy available if a local company uses our trademark for increasing their business. We have lost many businesses because of unauthorised use of the trade name. They are using low-quality products and many customers lost confidence in our products. What action will the law take on such an infringement? Please advise.
A: If anyone, other than the owner of the trade name, uses such name without permission, the concerned parties may request that its use to be avoided and also request for deletion of such use if it is registered in trade registry. Such unauthorised use of trade name shall be punished for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year or a fine of not more than QR100,000 or both (Article 68 of Trade Law).
According to Article 69 of Trade Law, a trader may not resort to means of deception and fraud in marketing his goods, and may not publish statements that are detrimental to the interest of another trader in competition with him, otherwise he will become liable for the detriment arising from such an action. The said actions of the competitor are considered to be unlawful competition that requires compensation.
Court may reduce
Q: In our sub-contract, the employer has put a compensation clause with a high amount. At the time of signing contract, we did not foresee trouble. Now due to some issues, we stopped the work and the employer has claimed an exaggerated amount. Can we request for reduced compensation amount legally? Is there any provision in the Qatari law to reduce the compensation? Please advise.
A: According to Article 266 of Civil Law, the compensation agreed upon shall not be payable if the obligor proves that the obligee has not sustained any damages, and the court may reduce agreed amount of compensation if the obligor proves that the assessment was exaggerated, or that the obligation has been executed in part. Any agreement to the contrary is null and void.
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