To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.
The Joint Contracts Tribunal (‘JCT’) suite of contracts
are one of the most popular forms of construction contract in England and Wales.
The JCT produces standard forms of construction contracts, as well
as guidance notes and additional documentation, such as
sub-contracts and collateral warranties, for use on a variety of
construction projects. In this article, we discuss what a JCT
contract is and the benefits of using one on your project.
What is the Joint Contracts Tribunal?
The JCT was formed in 1931 by the Royal Institute of British
Architects (RIBA) and the National Federation of Building Trades
Employers (NFBTE). Since its establishment, it has expanded and is
now formed of seven member organisations, including RIBA and the
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), with each
organisation representing a different sector of the construction
How does a JCT contract work?
JCT contracts are available to purchase by anyone wishing to
enter into a building contract with another party and are generally
made between an ’employer’ and a ‘contractor’. Each
contract sets out the responsibilities and obligations of all the
parties involved, so it is easy to see what work needs to be done,
by whom and when and how. The JCT states that their “approach
is to produce standard forms that meet clearly defined needs and
apportion risk in a way that is appropriate for the procurement
methods they reflect.” (The Joint Contracts Tribunal,
The standard forms of contracts include conditions which are
applicable to a variety of building projects, from a domestic home
extension to a commercial building development. The standard
provisions can also be amended using a schedule of amendments
attached to the main contract.
What are the different forms of JCT contracts?
The JCT publishes a range of different building contracts,
grouped into ‘families’, for use on different types of
projects and through different procurement routes. The most
commonly used JCT contracts families are:
Homeowner Building Contracts – For use on
projects carried out by owners of domestic properties e.g. a house
Minor Works Building Contracts – For use
on small scale projects with a simple design element e.g.
remodelling an area of an existing office building.
Intermediate Building Contracts – For use on
mid-sized projects e.g. a small building on an existing site.
Standard Building Contracts – For use on
more complex construction projects where detailed contract
provisions are needed e.g. a new block of flats or a public
Design and Build Contracts – For use on
complex construction projects (as with the Standard Building
Contracts), but with the distinction that the contractor both
designs and builds the project.
Why use a JCT contract?
There are multiple benefits to using a JCT contract on your
project, with the main reason being that the standardisation saves
time and minimises costs compared with drafting a contract from
scratch. JCT contracts also allocate risk in a fair way, meaning
that the terms don’t favour one party over another.
Furthermore, JCT contracts also include provisions relating to
dispute resolution, usually through arbitration or adjudication.
How can Barton Legal help?
At Barton Legal we have extensive experience in all the standard
contract forms, including JCT as well as NEC, IChemE, and
We believe that an increased understanding of contractual terms
and the roles and responsibilities of all parties ensures a
successful conclusion to a project, which is why we always use
plain English and ensure you understand and can apply the terms of
Our aim is to reduce legal gobbledegook and increase collaboration between parties to increase the
prospects of completing your project on time and on budget
We place great emphasis in the early stages of the contract on
understanding and preparing thoroughly, in order to avoid costly
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Government, Public Sector from UK