Managing Standard Form Contracts

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), in partnership with Fenwick Elliott LLP, have today published a guide regarding standard forms contracts in light of the current economic climate.

The construction industry is seeing rapidly increasing costs, labour and materials shortages which are all impacting on the immediate sustainability of our firms.

CECA recognises that we must collectively address how we future-proof our industry, supply chains and the clients for whom our members work.

As such, we have worked with Fenwick Elliott LLP to focus on some particular provisions in standard form contracts on which CECA members might focus when seeking to assess the economic challenges their contracts present, and considering how to protect their position, and jobs and businesses on future projects.

Commenting, CECA Director of Operations Marie-Claude Hemming said: “We are seeing across the board that the current climate is impacting upon project delivery.

“Our members are now finding it hard to meet the requirements of their contracts. The Construction Playbook asserts that standard form contracts should not be amended to transfer commercial risk and aims to encourage more equitable contractual terms.

“While we cannot dictate or enforce contractual behaviours, we know that as an industry we do better when we work together to ensure our industry is primed to survive.

Commenting, Fenwick Elliott LLP said: “Clearly the current political, commercial, and contractual landscape is a challenging one for any contractor, and is ever-changing.

“The terms to which CECA’s members are working may be increasingly challenging to satisfy, as the various domestic and wider global factors play their part in influencing that landscape.

“So an informed and a proactive approach to the particular contractual provisions in which the challenges may lie, and also to those that may provide some relief or flexibility, will be key to open and productive discussions with customers about the challenges on particular projects and where mitigation and possible equitable compromises might be found.”

The relevant documents are available to CECA members in the members’ area of the website. If you have yet to register on the site you can do so here – membership is restricted to employees of CECA member companies only.

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