JCT Payment Notices: Welcome Guidance from the Court of Appeal

Construction standard form contracts have a great deal to recommend them. Parties to a contract can save time and cost by starting negotiations with an industry recognised set of terms which deals with all the matters that the parties may have to agree. But while a standard form provides a good starting point, it needs to be adapted to meet specific project needs. Parties should take great care when doing this because, as the case of Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited v Grove Developments Limited…

JCT Design and Build Contract 2016: Simply Fair

At the time of the government’s consultation on Building a Responsible Payment Culture I commented on the balance between legislative intervention and the freedom to contract. At that time it was debatable whether further legislative intervention in contractual payment was desirable. Other commentators also expressed doubts. However the driver then, which still prevails, was that the payment process still needs improving. Therefore, it is not wholly surprising that we have seen further legislative change and government guidance as regards fair payment, albeit not as extensive…

JCT Design and Build and JCT Standard Building Contracts 2016 – Part II

JCT has published the new edition of 2016 Design and Build Contract in conjunction with the Design and Build Sub-Contract for use with it. The purpose of this note is to outline the principal changes from the previous 2011 edition and answer some frequently asked questions. Part I of this article was published in the February edition of JCT News. How is Loss and Expense for delay dealt with? Section 4 which deals with loss and expense still requires prompt initial notification of claims, or…

Obtaining Planning Consent – What is Your Responsibility?

Blog authors: Emily Dickson and Emily Pittaway – BLP Law Securing planning consent is a fundamental first step for any development project. Where a building contract does not expressly oblige either party to apply for or obtain planning consent, or other project specific approvals such as conservation area or listed building consent, who bears this responsibility? This is an important issue, particularly in circumstances where such consents are not obtained in time for the works to start. If responsibility falls on the employer, then the contractor…

JCT Design and Build and JCT Standard Building Contracts 2016 – Part I

Blog Author: Suzanne Reeves – Partner, Wedlake Bell JCT Design and Build 2016 Contract JCT has published the new edition of 2016 Design and Build Contract in conjunction with the Design and Build Sub-Contract for use with it. The purpose of this note is to outline the principal changes from the previous 2011 edition and answer some frequently asked questions. In summary, these are: Introduction of common “Interim Valuation Dates” which will apply throughout the contract chain including at sub-contract and sub-sub-contract tiers. Introduction of…

Not So Standard Contracts

Blog author: Peter Hibberd After Brexit, the UK is to go its own way regarding procurement and contracts but it will still have to work within parameters set by others if it is to trade internationally – something which JCT will continue to pursue regardless of the UK’s membership of the EU. During the past year, few subjects have created as much angst and foreboding as Brexit even though its definition is unclear– perhaps that is the problem. This article does not repeat the well-trodden arguments…

Does a failure to sign mean you’re off the hook?

Blog authors: Marc Hanson and Helena Savva – BLP Law JCT forms include comprehensive guidance on execution, in addition to standard provisions allowing the parties to execute the contract under hand or as a deed. However, what they do not include are terms providing that the contract will not be binding unless both parties execute it. So, what if the parties amend their JCT form to include such a term and then one party doesn’t sign? Surely, the answer must be that the contract won’t…

Making Amends

Blog author: Peter Hibberd Amending standard form building contracts is done more than is necessary and sometimes even changes the nature of the contract. Amendment might be done so as to change the risk apportionment or simply because of office practice without regard to risk – whatever, problems frequently arise. In addition to any imbalance of risk created there is also potential for inconsistency, conflict and or incoherence in the contract. Consequently, the effect of an amendment may become costly in an unknowing way. JCT Standard forms of contract are devised by experienced practitioners to…

Termination under JCT building contracts

Blog author – Andrew Keeley, Charles Russell Speechlys There is no general right to terminate without cause under most of the JCT contracts. This is unsurprising; a construction project requires a significant commitment from both parties and cannot be abandoned lightly. However, sometimes there is no other option but to part company. In these circumstances it is crucial to carefully check the particular contract terms of the contract you are using. Here are some important points to consider before terminating a JCT Standard Building Contract 2011 (SBC 2011) or JCT Design and Build…

Insolvent Abuse

Blog author: Peter Hibberd Insolvency of any party on a building project is regrettable and something advisers should look to militate against at pre-tender stage. Pre-contract checks on financial position, current workload and resources are essential prerequisites to entering a construction contract: yet, despite such checks, insolvency remains a possibility. Although insolvency in the industry has fallen slightly over the past year, history shows that, once construction activity picks up, insolvency is likely to increase.Insolvency numbers have been lower because monetary policy has provided financial props…