Michael Hiscock Archive

JCT 2016 construction contracts – what has changed?

It does not seem 5 minutes, let alone 5 years, since we were last examining the ‘new’ JCT approach, in that case arising from new legislation. This time round, the JCT has taken the opportunity to pull in a number of key cases and pieces of relevant legislation to their updated contract suite, for which they have initially (rather cautiously in my view) only released the Minor Works family.

Fitting the contract pieces together - the reality of a building site

Sitting in a hot internal glass pod London meeting room recently, in a negotiation meeting between a mechanical subcontractor and a main contractor, it reminded me again of how judgments of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal might seem far removed from the reality of a building site, but actually have a very real and direct impact on the success of a project and the parties’ associated risk profiles.

A testing time for manufacturing

If you are on a time-critical production window with large financial pressure for late delivery, you need to make sure the product is created accurately and efficiently. If you are the process line installer, you do not want to lose your profit margin by returning repeatedly to fix defects or losing money for missing key performance indicators.

Conduct can alter a legal relationship even if there is an “entire agreement” clause

The High Court has recently reminded everyone that parties’ conduct can alter their legal relationship even if the contract contains an “entire agreement” clause. The case arose from a payment dispute between a housing association and a private sector housing maintenance contractor and provides a warning about starting work without implementing functional systems, leading to a compromise that actually ends up binding the parties.
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