Rudi Klein’s ungracious and misplaced attack on the JCT contract forms (24 July, page 45) merits a reply

He compares JCT unfavourably with NEC3 under two principal headings: that there are too many variants of JCT and they are over-adversarial. Klein has chosen the wrong target. There are lots of JCT contract forms because there are lots of ways clients and designers arrange their building processes, and how they want risk to be distributed. Producing appropriate forms under the JCT umbrella has ensured long-term consistency and regular updating. They may be wordy, but they have a long track record of usage by an industry which understands them.

Are JCT contracts over-adversarial? An old, and largely unfair, chestnut. War can break out under any form, whichever form is chosen – including NEC3.

Klein’s ill-tempered sortie is not typical of his usually well-argued commentaries. Is there a hidden agenda here?

Malcolm Taylor, FRICS