The legal content of partnering arrangements in the construction industry.
Begg, Paul D.
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Successive reports into the construction industry have increasingly emphasised the importance of developing relationships based on trust between the contracting parties. This has led to the development of the co-operative arrangement called ‘partnering’ in construction contracts. There is, however, minimal industry guidance on what expectations the parties can have of the judicial interpretation of partnering arrangements containing references to relational concepts such as trust, co-operation, openness, etc where the relationship breaks down and parties have relied on it, perhaps to their detriment. This interpretation is relevant to the allocation of commercial liabilities between the parties and therefore represents a commercial risk to them. This paper examines the likely current attitude of the courts in England and Scotland to the various forms of the relationship covered by the term ‘partnering’ in construction contracts.