Parties in a construction project

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

  • Parties in a construction project
  • Employer
  • Contractor
  • Professional team
  • Sub-contractors
  • Employer's agent/project manager
  • Funder
  • Other parties

Parties in a construction project

This Practice Note identifies the key parties involved in most construction projects (including the employer, the contractor, the professional team of consultants (designers and non-designers), sub-contractors and funders) and provides an introduction to their roles and their relationships with one another, including the contracts that are entered into between them.

For an illustration of the way a development project may be structured and the contractual nexus between the parties involved, see: Structure of a development project—diagram.


The employer (who may be referred to alternatively as the client or the developer) is the party for whom the construction works are to be carried out. The employer is often, but not always, the party who owns the site upon which the works are to be constructed.

The employer will typically appoint a professional team, comprising various consultants, to help it to develop a project brief and produce designs etc in preparation for inviting contractors to tender for the job. The first to be appointed will typically be the architect. The employer will enter into an appointment with each of the consultants that it engages—see: Consultants on construction projects—overview.

Following a tender process, the employer will select a contractor who will carry out the building works—the professional team will typically assist the employer with the process of selecting a contractor and give advice on the form of

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