The Action Plan states that the member agencies will commit to procure and manage projects in a more collaborative way, partnering on risk allocation, developing a transparent pipeline of future projects, initiatives to reduce the cost of bidding for major projects, improve security of contract payments and increase diversity in the infrastructure and construction industry.
On 18 July 2018, Clayton Utz's Melbourne office and the Society of Construction Law Australia will be hosting a panel discussion on the future of collaborative contracting, including industry experts and Clayton Utz Partner, Marko Misko. Please contact Sean Kelly if you are interested in attending the event.
In the recent UK case of Amey Birmingham Highways v Birmingham City Council  EWCA Civ 264, Lord Justice Jackson made observations on the state of "relational contracts" in the UK. The comments were made in the context of a relational contract to maintain, operate and manage the Birmingham road network for 25 years, where the contract documents totalled almost 6,000 pages. Lord Justice Jackson declined to wade into the academic debate over whether relational contracts were a special subset of contracts subject to special rules of contractual interpretation. However, he did note that:
"any relational contract of this character is likely to be of massive length, containing many infelicities and oddities. Both parties should adopt a reasonable approach in accordance with what is obviously the long-term purpose of the contract. They should not be latching onto the infelicities and oddities, in order to disrupt the project and maximise their own gain."