English law recognises two different standards of care that a construction contract may apply to the obligations of the contractor towards the employer: fitness for purpose, and reasonable skill and care.

The article reviews how these respective obligations are interpreted under English law and asks whether civil law jurisdictions (in particular, in France, Brazil, Germany and Spain) recognise a similar distinction. The article then addresses how these jurisdictions in practice apply fitness for purpose and reasonable skill and care provisions set out in construction contracts.