Ruth Wilkinson, Legal Director at Hill Dickinson LLP, provides insights into the new Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Design and Build 2024 Contracts and summarises the key changes.

Ruth explained that the JCT Design and Build 2024 Contracts were released on 17 April. There are various significant changes to the previous 2016 edition including to reflect the effect of new legislation such as the Building Safety Act 2022 and the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic. The JCT has said that it does not consider that any amendments or changes in format materially affect the risk allocation however, there will be implications that the SpecFinish readers need to be aware of which we have summarised in this article.

What’s new?

Modernising and streamlining

  • Use of gender-neutral language.
  • Provision for service of notices by email and amendments to clause 1.7.

Liquidated damages

  • New clause 2.29.5 confirming that liquidated damages apply up to termination and general damages thereafter as per the Supreme Court case of Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd [2021] UKSC 29.

Payment due date after termination

  • Termination accounting provisions have been simplified to provide for payment notice requirements in the Construction Act:
    • Minor adjustments to termination accounting provisions in clauses 8.7, 8.8 and 8.12;
    • New definition of Termination Payment; and
    • New clause 8.13 relating to final dates for payment of the Termination Payment, payment-related notices, and amount to be paid.

Future proofing

  • As part of JCT’s response to industry changes and the Construction Playbook, previous supplemental provisions for collaborative working, sustainable development and environmental considerations, and notification and negotiation of disputes are no longer optional clauses.
  • These provisions are now in Article 3 (collaborative working) and clause 9.1 (notification and negotiation of disputes).
  • There are some tweaks to the sustainable development and environmental considerations, and this is now across clauses 2.1.5 and 2.2.2.
  • The new guidance notes include some guidance on the use of an overall cap on liability and a new model clause. This reflects the increasing use of caps on liability to manage risk in the sector.

Legislative changes

  • Part 2A of the Building Regulations 2010
    • New defined term for Building Regulations.
    • New Article 7 relates to the appointment of the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. Article 6 now relates to the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor under the CDM Regulations.
    • A new requirement to provide building information under regulation 11A(4) of the Building Regulations added to clause 2.7.
    • New provisions relating to compliance with additional duties at clause 3.16.
  • The definition of Insolvent includes two new grounds to reflect the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA).


  • Schedule 7 JCT Fluctuations Option A has been removed from the printed text and is online together with Fluctuations Options B and C at There are amendments to clauses 4.2, 4.12 and 4.13.

 Extensions of time

  • Alterations to timetable and procedures to streamline and improve efficiency:
    • A new procedure for issue of information requests by the Employer to be requested within 14 days from receipt of particulars or notification (clause 2.24); and
    • Reduced the period for the Employer to notify decisions from 12 weeks to 8 weeks (see clause 2.25.2). After practical completion, the Employer still has 12 weeks to notify a decision regarding an adjustment of the period given for an extension of time.
  • 3 changes to Relevant Events:
    • Antiquities (clause 2.26.4) extended to deal with Employer’s new powers to deal with asbestos, contaminated materials, and unexploded ordnance in clause 3.15;
    • New Relevant Event re epidemics occurring after the Base Date (clause 2.26.7); and
    • Expansion of statutory powers to include: (i) passing of new/ amended laws; (ii) exercise of any statutory power; and (ii) publication of guidance including by UK Government, local authorities, and Construction Leadership Council.

Further amendments

  • Definition of Statutory Undertaker replaced with Statutory Provider.
  • Changes to the extent of suspension in relation to the effect of the Final Statement (clause 1.8).
  • New clause expressly excluding fitness for purpose (clause
  • New powers for Employers in relation to the discovery of asbestos, contaminated material, and unexploded ordinance (clause 3.15).
  • The optional sub-limit entry for pollution and contamination claims in the Contract Particulars has been replaced with a general entry for sub-limits of indemnity (see clause 2.15).
  • New clause 5.4.5 permits an allowance for the valuation of any percentage or lump sum adjustments in the Contract Sum Analysis.
  • Updated references to the definition of prime cost of daywork (see clause 5.5).
  • Some minor amends to termination in clause 8.7 including for the Employer to notify the Contractor of the date of completion of the Works as soon as reasonably practicable.

Loss and expense

  • Optional Relevant Matters for epidemics and expansion of statutory powers (see clauses 4.21.6 and 4.21.7). These will apply if selected in the Contract Particulars.


  • Notification and negotiation of disputes now at clause 9.1.
  • Parties are allowed to choose a nominating body or adjudicator/arbitrator not listed in the Contract Particulars and clauses 9.3.1 and 9.5.1 have been amended.

To read more about the 2024 Contracts and receive advanced information about Contract releases visit: <Bold URL>