Requirement for construction contracts to be in writing under HGCRA 1996 [Archived]
Requirement for construction contracts to be in writing under HGCRA 1996 [Archived]

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

  • Requirement for construction contracts to be in writing under HGCRA 1996 [Archived]
  • Meaning of 'in writing'
  • Application of the principle in RJT Consulting
  • Adjudicating where there is no written contract

Produced in association with 4 Pump Court

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This Practice Note covers a requirement that applied only to contracts entered into before 1 October 2011 (in England and Wales) or before 1 November 2011 (in Scotland).

Section 107 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA 1996) as originally enacted provided that the HGCRA 1996 only applied to construction contracts which were ‘in writing’. This section was removed by section 139 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (LDEDCA 2009), hence the content of this Practice Note is only relevant to contracts entered into before the LDEDCA 2009 came into force.

Note that the HGCRA 1996 as currently in force does require certain provisions relating to adjudication to be recorded in writing. If these are absent, then the relevant provisions in the Scheme for Construction Contracts will apply to that contract. See Practice Note: Introduction to the HGCRA 1996.

Meaning of 'in writing'

HGCRA 1996, s 107 contained a complicated definition of what was meant by the term agreement ‘in writing’. It was copied from section 5 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (in arbitration law it is important to show that the court’s jurisdiction had been ousted by having a written record or evidence of the arbitration agreement).

The provisions within the HGCRA 1996, and the approach of

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