NEC and JCT contracts compared
NEC and JCT contracts compared

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • NEC and JCT contracts compared
  • Differences in approach
  • NEC
  • JCT
  • Project management/contract administration
  • NEC
  • JCT
  • Risk management
  • NEC
  • JCT
  • More...

This Practice Note examines some of the key areas where the NEC3 and NEC4 standard form construction contracts take a different approach to the JCT 2011 and 2016 contracts. It also highlights some provisions omitted from the NEC contracts that are found in the JCT contracts.

Except where otherwise indicated, this Practice Note focusses on the provisions of the NEC3/NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) and the JCT Standard Building Contract With Quantities (SBC) 2011/2016.

Differences in approach

NEC

The NEC contracts are geared towards use within the engineering industry but are intended to be adaptable and suitable for use for both engineering and building works.

The key NEC contract, the ECC, is intended to be suitable for traditional, design and build, or management forms of procurement (although there is now a separate Design, Build and Operate Contract in the NEC4 suite).

The NEC contracts differ from traditional contracts in that they are not intended to set out exhaustively the rights and obligations of the parties. The drafters’ aim was to produce contracts that would function more as practice and procedure manuals rather than traditional contracts. They deliberately avoid the traditional, adversarial approach and enable a more proactive and collaborative approach to managing the contract. There is an express obligation on the parties and the Project Manager to ‘act in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation’ (clause 10.2 in

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