FIDIC 2017 contract release confirmed: 'all the colours of the [FIDIC] rainbow…'

Following the latest releases by both the JCT and NEC of updated versions of their contract suites, it is now the turn of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers – or FIDIC as it is better known – to offer up new editions of its contracts.

FIDIC has confirmed that the launch of its new 'Rainbow Suite' is to take place at the FIDIC International Contract Users' Conference, being held in London on 5 and 6 December 2017. Details of this conference can be found here.

The FIDIC collection of contracts – each commonly referred to by their colour: the Red, Yellow, Silver, Green, Pink, Gold, Blue, White and Purple Books – is well known in the international construction industry. However, where other bodies have released numerous updates to their contracts over the years, some of the most widely used FIDIC construction and engineering contracts – the Plant and Design-Build (Yellow Book), EPC/Turnkey (Silver Book) and Construction (Red Book) – have remained in their original 1st Edition formats since 1999. This has meant that bespoke amendments have had to be incorporated to ensure that the contracts comply with current legislation.

The release of the new FIDIC editions comes somewhat later than anticipated, having originally been scheduled to take place during the summer of this year. A draft of the 2nd Edition Yellow Book was previewed by delegates at the 2016 Users' Conference and was found to be significantly longer than its predecessor. It also included some changes, such as amendments to indemnity provisions, that many of those in attendance were surprised to see. No doubt the industry will now be keen to see what changes the FIDIC Contracts Committee have chosen to keep in the finalised 2nd Edition Red, Yellow and Silver Books when they are unveiled on 5 December!

Whilst little detail has been made available as to content to date, the amendments are expected to include:

  • new and revised provisions relating to design in the Yellow and Silver Books
  • amended claim provisions
  • revised disputes provisions
  • new/revised project management provisions
  • updated risks and insurance provisions.

We will keep you updated with observations and developments relating to the new suite of FIDIC contracts as further information is released.

In the meantime, should you wish to discuss FIDIC 2017 or any other form of construction contract, please contact a member of the Construction & Engineering team at Michelmores.