History of JCT Construction Contracts

We are specialist construction lawyers that regularly provide advice in relation to standard form construction contracts.  A common type of standard form construction contract is the JCT suite of contracts.  JCT means “Joint Contracts Tribunal”.  The suite was first developed in the 1930s by a leading group of industry bodies.  Since then, the suite has been regularly updated and expanded.

JCT contracts attempt to provide a comprehensive framework for construction projects.  However, often they need amending to fit with a specific project or to ensure that an Employer’s or Contractor’s interests are protected.  Relying on the bare JCT contract can often be a mistake.

There are many different forms of JCT contract.  The most commonly used are:

  1. JCT Standard Building Contract – this is the most widely used form of JCT contract, intended to be used for construction of a new build or the refurbishment of an existing property.
  2. JCT Design & Build Contract – this contract is intended to be used where the Contractor is responsible for both the design and implementation of the works. It is often used for complex or bespoke projects.
  3. JCT Minor Works Contract – this contract is intended for minor construction works and refurbishments.
  4. JCT Construction Management Contract – Intended for larger, more complex construction projects, where the Employer instructs a Construction Manager to manage the project on their behalf.
  5. JCT Framework Agreement – this is an agreement that sets out the terms and conditions for a series of individual construction contracts.

Each form of JCT contract has distinct clauses and provisions that are intended to cover the issues that would arise on the type of works anticipated by the contract.

If you are an Employer, Contractor or Sub-Contractor, and considering using a JCT contract, then it is important to take specialist legal advice from experienced construction lawyers.  We can guide you through the process of identifying the most suitable form of contract and tailoring it to your needs.

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