In this series we shed some light on some of the key people who are involved with or give their time to support JCT, to ensure that all areas of the construction industry are represented and can contribute to the development of our contracts. We will look at how our interviewees contribute to JCT specifically, and gain their views on JCT’s wider role within the industry.
Member of the JCT Council
Member of the JCT Drafting Sub-Committee
I qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2005 although I have worked in a legal background since 1991, seventeen years of which has been in the Public Sector. My first exposure to construction was at Hammond Suddards in Leeds working in the Construction Litigation Team.
During my time at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council I became responsible for the completion of JCT contracts and supporting the Quantity Surveyors and Architects with their projects as well as drafting other contractual legal documentation. As part of my role included drafting contracts for tenders I became involved in procurement and in 2013 qualified as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchase and Supply.
I currently work as a Contracts Manager for YPO, a Central Purchasing Body that specialises in procurement and this position allows me to bring both the legal and procurements elements together.
JCT: Jane, how did you first come to be involved with JCT? Why do you think it is important to be involved?
JP: I first become involved with JCT following a request from the Local Government Association for Members that would be interested in representing them on the JCT Committee. My employers were fully supportive so I put my name down and here I am! I think it is important to be involved as we are able to represent the members of the Local Government Association and more importantly work with all the other members to be able to mutually agree contract drafting that is beneficial to all.
JCT: Can you tell us about any specific work you’re currently doing with JCT – through any boards, groups or committees, for instance?
JP: I am currently on the JCT Council and the JCT Drafting Sub-Committee.
JCT: Do you have any personal career highlights? What are you most proud of about the construction industry as a whole and where do you think it most needs to improve?
JP: My personal career highlights involve supporting a number of major projects in the Doncaster area during my time at Doncaster Council that have helped to improve the commercial and economic environment of the area for instance the Marina, My Place Building and Cultural Civic Quarter as well as supporting work on bridges and infrastructure. I also enjoyed working on the smaller projects, for local Schools and refurbishing listed buildings that whilst they might have not been multi million pound projects they have had a positive impact on the people of Doncaster. I think the thing that I am most proud in relation to the construction industry as a whole is their resilience and spirit. It doesn’t matter what gets thrown into the mix, they always seem to take it in their stride, find a way to address it and carry on. The area where I think it most needs to improve is more in relation to the procurement aspects of construction, ensuring sustainability, meeting environmental criteria and providing social value (you can tell I work in an office!) as these are big areas that Local Government Customers are targeted to meet.
JCT: What do you see as the main challenges for the construction industry over the next five years?
JP: I feel the challenges to the Industry will come from outside of the UK, either as a result of Brexit and anticipated material and labour price increases or the provision of cheaper materials like the steel from China or the provision of pre-fabricated buildings.
JCT: Does JCT have a wider role to play in the industry beyond producing contracts?
JP: Definitely, JCT are a body made up of representatives from all sectors of the Construction Industry whose remit is to safeguard and support the Industry. JCT have specialist members with extensive knowledge and experience that they are willing to share that can be harnessed for the benefit of others. This is asolid base for any construction venture that JCT might wish to undertake in the future.