This Friday the weather was sunny and warm. One of those Berlin afternoons when the city seemed to be a bit greener, airier and more easy going than on the days before. From the top floor of the recently completed carcass of a building the guests of the topping-out ceremony and myself had a panoramic view over the entire city. In the east we saw the high-rises at Alexanderplatz, in the west those at Breitscheidplatz. From our vantage point everything looked orderly and well placed. After the address at the ceremony the mood is quite happy when a lawyer joins us at our table. “Well, in September the HOAI will be a thing of the past” is his offensive opening. “Then the fee order for architects and engineers will be history.” His gloating remark comes for me as a surprise. Oh dear, I could almost hear the crackling of the ice floe breaking under my feet. I felt like a polar bear drifting out to the open sea on a lonely floe. Within a blink I had come back to reality. The law suit at the European Court of Justice against the Federal Republic of Germany because of the fee order for architects and engineers has been pending for years. It’s about the liberalisation of the market - the market of planners and designers. Of course, the old crone HOAI anyway needed adaptation to the new, current conditions. Major changes like BIM or phase zero are not properly taken care of in it. And fees for major projects are a matter of free negotiation even today. But sitting on my ice flow I cannot imagine that the binding minimum and maximum rates would be abolished completely. Far too often referring to this patron of all architects and engineers has strengthened our week positions in negotiations and ensured a more or less reasonable income for us.