REUTERS | Russell Boyce

June 2011 digest: JCT contract changes and the rain

As Benjamin Disraeli said in 1867:

“Change is inevitable. In a progressive country change is constant.”

June has been a month of changes, not only with shifts in the weather (obviously, Wimbledon started, and everyone knows it nearly always rains during Wimbledon), but also with details of the changes to the industry’s main suite of standard forms of contract.

We may not have a confirmed effective date for the Construction Act 1996 amendments, but people are preparing gradually. The JCT has published tracked change documents, and we have written notes on the design and build, standard and intermediate contracts, telling you about the key differences between the JCT’s 2009 revisions and the 2011 editions. (CIMAR is changing too!) Schedules of amendments to these will follow and, in the meantime, we have updated all our maintained materials accordingly.

June saw the first adjudication enforcement judgment in several weeks. The courts were also looking at an engineer and sub-contractor’s liability for contribution, public procurement challenges, the meaning of reasonable endeavours and economic loss caused by negligent property damage.

The government has been busy, publishing its construction strategy, an action plan on low carbon construction, a fair payment Z clause (for use in NEC3 contracts), an SI relating to any future exclusion orders from the Construction Act 1996, measures to make government procurement more efficient and announcing the end of Partnerships for Schools.

This month, opinions have been expressed on the adequacy of NHBC warranties, the government’s construction strategy, automatic suspension in public procurement, economic loss in Conarken v Network Rail, the TCC’c costs management pilot, a European contract law, the Latent Damages Act 1986 and honesty in contract negotiations. We also answered a question about novation and collateral warranties.

Finally, don’t forget that the Bribery Act 2010 comes into force on 1 July 2011.

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