Changes in Legislation

I am QSing a contract under the JCT Standard Building Contract Without Quantities, 2016 Edition
It is design and build and is the first time that I have worked under this form.
I have searched through and am looking for, where I can claim for a change is legislation, giving rise to increased costs.
Since signing the contract the government has made the use of Red Diesel outlawed. Therefore there is the increased cost of using White Diesel, and wondered if the panel can steer me in the right direction with regards to this event, and under what Clause I can lodge a claim.

Philip, I am not a member of the panel, so you might wish to wait for further feedback.

In my view, you would be looking at the “Change” provisions (Section 5) and at Section 2 “Divergencies from Statutory Requirements”, clause (in the JCT D&B 2016, but should be similar in the SBC/XQ 2016 you are referring to), provided that the change in the law happened after the Base Date (see Contract Particulars in your contract).

If it is a Change, it is a Relevant Matter, and you can claim loss and/or expense (see “Notification and ascertainment” in Section 4); if the sum is not agreed with the Employer you should refer to the Valuation provisions of Section 5 mentioned above.

Also keep in mind that under the unamended JCT provisions, your rights to seek remedies outside the contract are not restricted, so worst case scenario, you can seek damages under common law.

Last but not least, check carefully the schedule of amendments to the Conditions, in your contract.

I hope the above helps.

That all make sense. Thanks for the direction.

Regards Philip

1 Like

My view is that Clause 2.15 may be of use where there is a conflict between the ER’s and the law; such as the ER’s saying double glazing and the law saying treble glazing. Clause makes it clear that any change in law after the Base Date that necessitates a variation to the Works should be treated as a Change. I am not sure that the changes in the taxes on diesel will necessitate a Change to the Works so it might be difficult to convince the Employer that you can claim these extra operational costs.

In order to protect you against this type of inflationary charge you may want to consider the use of one of the Fluctuations Clauses. My webinar on here explains how you can protect yourselves. This would not apply of course to current contracts that have the fluctuations clauses knocked out of them.

1 Like