What form of JCT contract should I use and what are the differences?

It depends on what type of procurement your Project will follow. There are two main procurement types – design and build (including partial design) and traditional (where the contractor has no design input). So you would start by picking a design or non-design JCT form and go from there. On the traditional procurement pathway, you would need to choose a JCT based on whether or you not you had any bill of quantities or approximate quantities as the traditional standard building contracts are split into those where you have a priced bill of quantities and those where a specification is priced instead.

Other forms of JCT include the Major Project Form (largely used for Government funded projects), Management Contracts (where a management contractor manages a team of works contractors who are his appointed sub-contractors), Construction Management (where a construction manager is appointed to manage trade contractors appointed by the developer/employer) and Term Contracts (for services to be provided across a set period).

So, the answer is to find the JCT that most suits the procurement route you have chosen for your project as the basis of the building contract used.

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