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29 June 2023 | Comment | Article by Iwan Jenkins

JCT announces publication of next edition of its contracts – JCT 2024

The JCT recently announced that it will start publishing new editions of its contracts in 2024. At the moment, no drafts are available, but JCT has indicated that the new suite will cover the following workstreams:

  • Modernising and streamlining work practices – digital working will remain a main feature of the new suite; updates will include the use of gender-neutral language and ‘increased flexibility around the use of electronic notices’.
  • A new contract family – JCT Target Cost Contract (TCC) is to be introduced, comprising the Target Cost Contract, the Target Cost Sub-Contract and the Target Cost guide.
  • Legislative changes – the suite will incorporate changes reflecting the recent Building Safety Act and its secondary legislation, new termination and payment provisions will be introduced to align with the Construction Act and new insolvency grounds will be added to reflect changes introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act.
  • New relevant events to cover epidemics and new provisions dealing with unexploded ordnance, contaminated materials and asbestos.
  • Amendments will make it clear when liquidated damages are to be available upon termination.
  • Future proofing – JCT 2024 will reflect the objectives of the Construction Playbook, sustainable development, collaborative working and environmental considerations.

It will be very interesting to see how the JCT has dealt with the drafting challenges posed, as a result, of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. The recent explosion in ESG clauses means there will be a focus on how the JCT will future proof sustainable development, collaborative working and environmental considerations. The reference to the Construction Playbook does lead to the question as to whether there will be changes to facilitate two stage tendering, modern methods of construction and project led insurance.

The introduction of a form of target cost contract by the JCT has long been anticipated and is therefore not a surprise especially due to the market share being taken by the NEC Option C ECC form of contract. It will however be interesting to see how the JCT Target Cost Contract is structured with obvious comparisons to the NEC Option C ECC contract but also whether the JCT Target Cost Contract takes and uses any of the mechanisms in the JCT Constructing Excellence form of contract (the outlier in the suite of JCT contracts) and, in particular, the Risk Allocation Schedule.

The Construction team will be running a series of events in 2024 as soon as the documents are available.

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Author bio

Iwan advises on non-contentious construction matters and has prepared and negotiated documentation on a wide variety of projects. He has advised on building contracts, appointments, development agreements, construction security documentation and all associated documentation.

Iwan has advised public sector clients in social housing, education, local and national government as well as contractors, consultants, sub-contractors, developers and funders in the private sector.

Iwan has a particular interest and expertise in framework agreements and collaborative construction contracts.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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