It’s over a year since the second editions of the Rainbow Suite were published and the recent conferences in London and the Middle East provided a forum to reflect on the changes. Indeed, this was reflected in the respective agendas. There were sessions dedicated to responding to commentary on the second editions and also to comparisons with other “international” standard forms. Errata for the Second Editions were also published in December 2018, picking up on largely typographical points.
One year on, the conversation has changed from considering the changes from an academic, theoretical perspective to whether and how they might be applied in a more practical context. Understandably, given the extent of the changes in the second editions (particularly when compared, for example, to the “light touch” approach adopted by NEC in the NEC4 update, and its subsequent round of amendments), it is still early days. However, there are indications that the first contracts based on the second editions have been awarded – or at least are being seriously considered for new projects. For most, though, the benefits of greater clarity and certainty that the drafters have sought to provide are still being evaluated against the consequential increase in complexity and decrease in flexibility, and the advantages of using the tried-and-tested 1999 forms. Continue reading