NEC Contracts

NEC (New Engineering Contract) contracts are a common standard form engineering contract used in the UK and overseas where English law is implemented. Whilst they were designed for engineering not building projects, they can be and often are easily adapted for the latter.

The first NEC was produced in 1993. The latest contract suite is the NEC4 and that was released in 2017. NEC came to the fore on large infrastructure projects in places such as Hong Kong.

As with the JCT contracts, new suites of NEC contracts are released irregularly, each one aiming to update and improve on the last. 

NEC4 contracts are clear, simple and written in plain English, using language and a structure which is straightforward and easily understood (NEC website).

A core obligation on the parties under an NEC4 contract is that they must act in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation. That contrasts sharply from traditional contracts like JCT, where the relationship is far more adversarial, each party succeeding often at the other’s expense. Running throughout NEC are clauses designed to avoid conflict and promote dialogue: the result is that the programme and budget are continually updated and agreed as changes and events happen. There should be no surprises at the end of an NEC4 Contract (NEC website).

Ridgemont are very experienced in advising on NEC contracts and on disputes that arise out of their implementation. This is at the heart of what we do.

Why Ridgemont?

Ridgemont’s team is made up of expert senior solicitors, all of whom previously worked in “Big Law” (i.e. the top 50 law firms in the UK).

We provide bespoke advice tailored to your needs.  Our advice is commercial and pragmatic, enabling you to use it effectively to make business decisions.

We have an expert understanding of construction law. We can guide you through the maze of NEC contracts. 

We are user-friendly.  Our lawyers speak in plain English, providing service levels akin to “Big Law”. We have built our processes to make onboarding as pain-free as possible. Our fee earner structure means that you have access to a partner-level solicitor at all times and they will always be on top of your matter.

We operate our business in an ethical way.  That means we think about what the “right thing to do” is when making a business decision.  As an example, we do not charge a default unit of time for incoming emails or letters as we think we ought to be paid for work done, not for merely receiving correspondence. We are also open and transparent on what we charge, meaning our clients never receive a surprising invoice.

We provide “Big Law” service levels and quality of advice, with expert senior solicitors providing commercial, pragmatic advice. Necessarily, that does not come cheap as we have to invest in great lawyers and everything they need to do their job. However, due to us having comparatively lower overheads to “Big Law” firms, we are able to charge less than they would for providing the same service levels and advice.

We are proactive in finding innovative ways to advise our clients in a cost proportionate way.

Who we act for?

We act for developers, contractors, sub-contractors, professionals and investors across a range of sectors from residential to retail.

Your journey with us
  1. Get in touch using the contact form below, calling us on 0203 909 9590 or emailing us at
  2. We guarantee that we will be in touch with you the same day to listen to your needs and to explain how we can help and the likely cost.
  3. Assuming you wish to engage us, we will then onboard you as a client, which normally takes a matter of hours.
  4. From there, you will be assigned an experienced solicitor who will have conduct of your matter from cradle to grave and be available to speak to you and responsive to emails at every juncture.

You can learn more about our journey by watching these videos.

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Head of Construction

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24 Greville Street,
London, EC1N 8SS

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St Nicholas House, 31-34 High St, Bristol, BS1 2AW
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