NEC4 contracts: user group seminar report

NEC4 contracts: user group seminar report

I was kindly invited by the NEC to its Users’ Group Annual Seminar on 22 June 2017, at which the new NEC4 suite of standard form construction contracts was launched. In this report I highlight some of the key information points from the seminar, in particular in relation to the new Alliance Contract (ALC), the new Design, Build and Operate Contract (DBO) and the changes made to the Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC).

For a full list of what’s in the NEC4 suite, see News Analysis: NEC4 contracts published.

Introductory remarks

The seminar was opened by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Tim Broyd. According to Broyd, ICE's vision is for the NEC contracts to be the 'world's favourite procurement suite in the foreseeable future', and NEC4 had been 'improved and streamlined' in light of feedback, consultations and developments.

The NEC3 contracts had been recommended for use on government contracts by the (then) Office of Government Commerce (OGC). David Hancock, Construction Director of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (the OGC's successor), confirmed that this recommendation has been extended to NEC4. In particular, Hancock thought that the NEC4's aim of contract standardisation (ie reducing the need for amendments) encouraged efficiency, and that its clarity enabled suppliers to appreciate what was required of them—both aspects were consistent with the Government Construction Strategy. He also welcomed the introduction of the DBO, as the government was looking to move towards whole life delivery systems.

Alliance Contract

The ALC is a multi-party contract, entered into by the 'Client' (this term is now used throughout the NEC4 suite instead of 'Employer') and multiple 'Partners' (ie contractors). The Client and Partners together make up the 'Alliance', which is managed by an 'Alliance Board' (which makes decisions unanimously) and an 'Alliance Manager' (which carries out

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About the author:

Jon is a Professional Support Lawyer at LexisNexis, specialising in construction law.

Jon trained at Hogan Lovells and qualified into the construction disputes team there in 2011. He joined LexisNexis in February 2016. Jon has experience of acting for various parties (including employers, main contractors, subcontractors and project managers) in relation to disputes arising out of construction and engineering projects in various jurisdictions. Jon has acted for clients in TCC litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation as well as providing advice on various aspects of construction and engineering projects.