It's interesting to note that as next week looms that there are no flashing neon signs or other obvious signs that we are about to enter into a new era where it's out with the old, in with the new, on payment terms and adjudication.

JCT has published its suite of new 2011 contacts ( main contracts and corresponding sub-contracts) brightly yellow coloured which comply with the "new" Construction Act. NEC have published, in a more modest way, loose leaf amendments to the NEC 3 forms.

The JCT amendments are more comprehensive and focused. They also go beyond what is needed for the Construction Act to reflect other developments in the law, such as insolvency. NEC is vaguer and slightly opaque, but then NEC 3 is opaque, so the amendments reflect this approach to drafting.

JCT go out of their way to highlight the payment changes by defining and so drawing attention to the requirement for Payment Notices and Pay Less Notices. NEC bury this in their amendments to Option Y(UK) 2.

NEC, having treated suspension as a compensation event, assume they need go no further. JCT make it clear a contractor can clam its reasonable costs and expenses incurred in suspending. I doubt it will take a PM too long to work out that NEC is more punitive than JCT. Neither form naturally refers to the Default Notice, nor makes it clear how important it has now become for the paying party to issue a Payment Notice.

On adjudication both look to the Scheme for the procedure to be followed and direct you to it. JCT need to update its cross references to the new Scheme coming into force.

So welcome to the brave new world where there are more traps than before to catch the unwary.