CLC Covid-19 Contractual Best Practice Guidance

The Construction Leadership Council (“CLC”) published on 7 May 2020 its practical guidance (“Guidance”) to assist companies at all tiers of the construction and maintenance supply chain in minimising potential disputes that might arise as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Guidance, which can be found here has received the backing of the UK Government.

Broadly speaking, the Guidance emphasises a collaborative and mutually pragmatic approach to the effects of Covid-19 on projects, looking to proactively mitigate those effects as and when they arise. As well as summarising and giving examples of the types of issues that are likely to arise in connection with the pandemic, the intention being that it will be updated regularly as necessary and appropriate, the Guidance also includes numerous pro forma documents. These include letters and skeleton forms of notices between the parties for use in conjunction with both the JCT Design and Build Contract 2016 and the NEC3 / 4 Engineering and Construction Contract forms. It should be noted, as is pointed out in the Guidance, that these are structured on the assumption that the relevant contract has not been amended; it is therefore likely that in many if not most cases those pro formas would need adapting for particular use and of course each project will have its own commercial and technical considerations and factors to address, whether or not the Guidance is followed.

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