NEC4: A closer look at the changes in the ECC

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At the NEC Users Group Annual Seminar on 22 June, the new NEC4 suite of contracts was launched with much fanfare and praise by members of the ICE, Cabinet Office, industry and naturally, the NEC4 Contract Board and drafting team.

The marketing catchphrases of the day for the new suite were ‘improvement through collaboration’ and ‘evolution, not revolution’. The new suite consequently seeks to build upon the successful features of the NEC3 by taking into account feedback from the NEC users group over the past 12 years. The aim of the majority of the changes in the NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract (“ECC”) are to better reflect current market practices, provide greater clarity and promote enhanced collaboration and more proactive management of projects.

Whilst the new contracts have now been released, the ICE is not going to publish its practical reference guide covering all the changes between the NEC4 and NEC3 ECCs on a clause-by-clause basis until October this year. In the attached document we set out a detailed review of the changes made to the ECC and cover some of their implications for early users and the extent to which they achieve the ICE’s stated aims.

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