The JCT is republishing its suite of contracts. Perhaps surprisingly, the first document to have been made available in its 2016 guise is the Minor Works contract. We understand that the remainder of the contracts will be published over a period of several months.

We have reviewed a tracked change version of the Minor Works form. Some changes were to be expected, such as the addition of references to the "Principal Designer" and deletion of references to the "CDM Co-ordinator". In addition, there have been other changes, including substantial ones to the wording of Section 4 of the contract, concerning payment. Notwithstanding the large amount of red ink, the position of the employer and the contractor seem largely unchanged however.

The grapevine had suggested that the JCT had grasped the thorny issue of insurance where works are being carried out in an existing property. (We wrote about this at more length in our January 2015 edition of this newsletter). Certainly the new edition of the JCT sets out in clear terms the respective rights and obligations of the employer and the contractor, but there remains the underlying issue of how to take out and maintain adequate insurance in a multitenanted building where the employer has a legal interest in part of the structure only; inevitably so, dependent as that issue so often is on parties other than those to the contract, the overall landlord and his insurers in particular.