JCT has released an article, authored by Peter Hibberd, past-chair, JCT, aimed at contractors, clients and contract administrators to provide information on understanding how the effects of coronavirus impact JCT contracts, what the contracts provide for to deal with such events, and how parties can ensure compliance.
With the coronavirus having such an unprecedented impact on construction projects, it is important that all parties to the contract are able to understand the key areas of the contract that come into play, and what action may need to be taken.
The article focuses on the JCT Standard Building Contract (SBC) and all JCT contracts with like provisions for extension of time, loss and expense, and termination.
Notable exceptions, referred to in the document, are the JCT Constructing Excellence Contract (CE) and JCT Minor Works Building Contract (MW).
It includes distinguishing between the timing and nature of events, i.e. delays brought on by the virus itself vs. delays brought on by Government action, and how these might constitute a Relevant Event.
It also describes how events might give rise to three key situations – extension of time, suspension of the works, and termination of the contractor’s employment – and how these should be complied with as they arise and depending on what course of action parties decide to take.
The article is restricted to projects undertaken in England and Wales and only applies where the JCT contract was entered into prior to the effects of the coronavirus being reasonably foreseeable.
The article can be downloaded at corporate.jctltd.co.uk/coronavirus.