The CIOB Complex Projects Contract is not ‘over-complicated’ and difficult to follow


I was interested to read Ann Minogue and Kirsten Bardel’s comments in response to Keith Pickavance and Nick Lane’s entreaty for constructive feedback on the new CIOB Complex Projects Contract (25 May, page 44). Their comments were largely measured and sensible and doubtless will be taken into consideration by the authors.

However, they admit that their response is from a UK developer’s perspective and while the CIOB form is suitable for use on homegrown real estate projects, it is aimed specifically at complex high value projects being undertaken by experienced employers both here and abroad. As such, it recognises that the parties’ requirements may vary extensively even in relation to “standard” provisions such as third party security, novation and step-in. Hence, these should be addressed through the Special Conditions.

Where the CIOB form differs most notably from those forms is in its commitment to Building Information Modelling (BIM) and time management principles, as Ann and Kirsten rightly point out.

However, I respectfully disagree with the assertion that the provisions are “over-complicated” and difficult to follow. The reason other standard forms are not complex with regard to time management is because they say virtually nothing about it.

Managing a complex project successfully is an intricate task. As Keith and Nick wrote, the contract is intended for parties who wish to finish a project on time and on budget. It is not for the faint-hearted.

By way of disclosure, I was involved in assisting the authors with the drafting of the CIOB form.

Francis Ho, senior associate, Olswang