The standardization of contracts for construction
Hughes, W. and Greenwood, D.G. (1996) The standardization of contracts for construction. International Construction Law Review, 13 (2). pp. 196-206. ISSN 0265-1416
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Contracts are put to a wide variety of uses. Those who draft construction contracts in the UK rarely consider all of the potential uses and therefore may produce documents that are less than ideal. The various uses are considered in their theoretical background before turning to the practical difficulties often encountered in trying to fulfil such diverse aims. The question of standardisation is examined within this context. Existing standard forms of contract in the UK are found to do little to overcome these difficulties, and this encourages either a significant level of amendment to the standards or experienced clients to draft their own forms. The solution is an approach to contract drafting which is designed to offer a compromise; better standard forms, based on the lessons learned from the drafting of non-standard forms and a pooling of experience, including that of lawyers, in the drafting process. Although this paper is based upon the experience of the UK, these conclusions are relevant for contract-drafting practice in general.
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