New agreement offers firms freedom from client intervention in return for assuming greater share of project risk.
A standard form from the Joint Contracts Tribunal is to give contractors the option of taking on more risk when constructing major projects in return for freedom from client intervention.

The agreement, called the Major Project Form, is intended for sophisticated repeat clients and national contractors.

The basis of the deal is that the client gives the contractor a detailed description of its requirements, including areas of potential risk, then leaves it alone to design and build the facility.

The client's rights and responsibilities are limited to reviewing design documents, visiting the site and paying the bill.

Neil Smith, commercial manager with John Laing, who was on the JCT working group that drew up the contract, said that the document demonstrated how collaboration between contractors and clients could work more effectively.

This should be use by majors and experienced clients

John Laing manager Neil Smith

Smith said contractors would take on more risk, but that those risks would be fully detailed at the bidding stage.

He added that that the contract was not suitable for smaller contractors or inexperienced clients because they did not have the expertise to deal with risk management.

He said they should use other JCT standard forms.