Lawyers have predicted that the JCT’s digital contracts, due to launch at the end of next month, will cut construction firms’ legal costs.
Michael Conroy-Harris, a lawyer at Laytons, said the Contracts Digital Service could be particularly useful on medium-sized schemes.
He said: “If developers are finding that fees charged by lawyers or other consultants are too high, maybe they would think this is a way of reducing these costs.”
He also said online updates could ensure the right amendments match the latest form.
A spokesperson for the Construction Confederation praised the JCT’s digital service for being user friendly. He said: “The step-by-step guide makes it more accessible and easier to make amendments. In most cases you’ll be able to fill it in without a lawyer.”
Helen Garthwaite of law firm Taylor Wessing said developers will want to make amendments on complex schemes, which means “lawyers won’t be out of a job”.
She warned that smaller players might not have the technology to take advantage of digital contracts.
The full service, which includes a CD of forms and online updates, will cost £375 per year. It costs an extra £100 for each additional user.