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Which building contract?

Understanding basic construction contract structures will enable non-construction lawyers to ensure a fit with the rest of the project’s legal framework, explains Chris Holwell

28 February 2017

‘We’ll need a building contract,’ 
is something often said by developers and property lawyers at some point in the early stages of a project.  Indeed you will, but what sort of building contract?  ‘A JCT, I expect’ – you may well be right, but there are more than 20 different types of Joint Contracts Tribunal building contract, 
to say nothing of the myriad different forms of building contract published by other bodies, 
so how do you choose and what are the key differences?  

You could leave it to the architect or quantity surveyor but surely a solicitor should have at least some idea of the issues which will be relevant to the decision, if only to ensure the architect or quantity surveyor are properly briefed on the requirements of the legal structure of the project and don’t choose a building contract which is incompatible with it. Ideally of course the client should be advised by a specialist construction lawye...

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