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Construction: What’s New With the NEC4 Form of Contract?

The latest NEC standard construction contract, NEC4 was released a little while ago now. However, with all these things, it takes a while to filter through, and only now that people are starting to use the contract on a regular basis. But what is it and what are the major features?

Like any contract, the latest NEC form is not without risk, particularly if you’re less familiar with it. Some may be tempted to treat it as they would other standard forms. That would be very risky, as it operates in quite a different way.

Often criticised by lawyers for its simple language, NEC4 is no different to NEC3 in that respect. It retained its “plain English” approach. However, many solicitors suggest this creates the opportunity for ambiguity. Where ambiguity exists, there is the potential for a dispute.

Notable changes to the contract include the requirement for a quality management system. There are more detailed options for implementing BIM, and changes to party names. The “Risk Register” is now an “Early Warning Register”. For commercial people and lawyers, it’s worth noting that dispute resolution has changed. There are also important recent changes in the approach to analysing delay where analysis is needed.

Many law firms have produced handy guides for those needing to familiarise themselves with the new form and its changes.

Decipher Consulting have teamed up with barristers, 4 Pump Court, consultants Bowdon Consulting and Leeds law firm, Hawkswell Kilvington. On 17th October they’ll present a breakfast seminar in Leeds city centre on the things you need to know about the NEC4 form of contract. Find out more at the Decipher Group website.