Last edited 29 Sep 2020

Named specialist work in construction

In February 2013, a change was introduced to the JCT Standard Building Contract 2011 enabling an employer to identify specialists to be used as domestic sub-contractors (that is specialists subcontracted by the main contractor) for identified parts of the works by appropriate entry in the contract particulars.

This provides the opportunity for the employer to select a sub-contractor with particular expertise, whilst leaving responsibility for their performance with the main contractor.

This is similar to provisions for named subcontractors in some other forms of contract, and its inclusion is seen to be a result of the omission of provisions for nominated subcontractors from the JCT Standard Building Contract since 2005.

If the naming of specialists is required, a series of standard clauses and amendments must be incorporated into the contract. There are two ways in which the specialist provisions can work:

Upon receiving an instruction from the contract administrator in relation to a post-named specialist or a replacement specialist, the contractor is able to raise reasonable objection within seven days. The contract administrator then has a further seven days to either:

This may entitle to contractor to an extension of time and /or loss and expense.

The contractor should enter into a contract with the specialist as soon as ‘reasonably practicable’ using a JCT Standard Building Sub-Contract.

The contract administrator must be notified if a contract cannot be entered by the contractor as required. On receipt of this notification the contract administrator must provide instruction to the contractor to either:

  • Remove or solve whatever is preventing the contract.
  • Select an alternative specialist.
  • Undertake the work itself.
  • Omit the work altogether.

If the contractor wishes to terminate the specialist’s employment, they must notify the contract administrator and, if required, the employer. The contractor can only give notice of termination or of repudiation after 14 days, unless the specialist has become insolvent.

If the contractor terminates the specialist’s employment, the contract administrator must issue instructions to the contractor to either:

If the named specialist becomes insolvent the contractor may be entitled to an extension of time and /or loss and expense.

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