Standard form building contracts

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

  • Standard form building contracts
  • What are they?
  • Why are they used?
  • What are the most commonly used standard forms?
  • JCT contracts
  • NEC contracts
  • Infrastructure Conditions of Contract
  • MF/1
  • IChemE Model Form Conditions of Contract
  • FIDIC
  • More...

Standard form building contracts

There have been standard forms of building contracts in the UK for over 100 years and their use is extremely widespread. There are now numerous forms that the parties to a construction project can choose to adopt—the range of contracts that has developed over the years reflects the different procurement methods that now exist, different risk profiles, the variety in size of projects and the varying demands/expectations of those who own and use/occupy buildings.

Construction projects are complex, both in terms of the rights and obligations of the employer and the contractor who will carry out the work, and also in terms of what will physically occur on site. The contracts that govern these projects and the relationships associated with them therefore need to be clear and certain as to who is doing what, for how much, how it will be done and who is responsible for the varied and numerous risks involved.

It would be impossible to have one standard form building contract that addressed all the needs of all the different shapes and sizes of construction project which now exist. However, the standard forms are extremely useful and can provide a model which is familiar to, and understood by, lawyers, their industry clients (eg contractors and developers) and professional consultants, which can be adapted (as and where necessary) to suit a

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