On 3 March NEC announced that NEC4 will be released in June 2017. NEC4 will be a new complete suite of contracts described by NEC themselves as "an evolution on NEC3".

Although there have been few details released so far, NEC4 is said to build upon the aims of the NEC3 suite of contracts by offering increased flexibility, improved clarity and greater ease of use. Created as an improved, revised and updated version of the NEC3 suite of documents NEC4 is designed to:-

  • Streamline processes
  • Improve contract Administration
  • Improve clarity and reduce the potential for problems
  • Improve risk management

The new suite of contracts has been drafted to reflect both user feedback and industry developments and will introduce two new forms of contract:

  • Design Build and Operate (DBO)

A contract which combines responsibilities from design phase, through construction to operation and/or maintenance from one single supplier created in response to industry demand; and

  • Alliance Contract (ALC)

A single collaborative contract for use on large complex projects with a number of participants

The industry will no doubt welcome this update to a suite of contracts which has gained attention for its use on several prestigious and high profile projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, Crossrail and Heathrow Terminal 5.

Further details will be revealed by NEC in early April ahead of the release date of the full suite of documents on 22 June 2017.

We await with interest the revisions and updates to this increasingly popular form of contract.


Louise Shiels

Head of Dispute Resolution and Risk & Partner