What is NEC?

NEC contracts are specifically designed to improve project outcomes when there is a contract between two or more parties to deliver it. Now in its fourth edition, the NEC family of contracts has three main objectives compared with traditional contracts: being flexible in its range of applications & risk allocation; being clear and simple to understand and use; and stimulating good project management between the parties.

Why use it?

In short, NEC contracts increase the likelihood of projects being successful. This relates to their objectives :

  • its 'flexibility' means it is easier to construct a 'fit for purpose' contract strategy without expensive legal input. For example, it is a family of contract for goods, works and services; the long forms have a range of paytment options; and they have pick'n'mix secondary options;
  • its 'clarity & simplicity' means that it is easier to follow the contract so there are less breaches and disputes. This is achieved by writing in plain English, as opposed to legalese, and with a logical structure that is common across the whole family; and
  • its 'stimulus to good project management' means greater transparency and pro-active management of the issues and risks that arise as they arise rather than re-active administration of what has happened.

But ...

Ultimately, NEC is only a piece of paper so to get the best from using it you have to have the right systems, organisation and above all people (knowledge, skillset and culture) in place.

Trainer, consultant and expert witness 

 Jon's unique understanding of NEC started in 1993 when he began researching its practical  application under one of its two co-instigators. This led to him gaining the world's first PhD on it in 1998 and the publication of his first book on it, since updated (see the bottom of this page). Since then he has over 25 years experience on it as a trainer, consultant and expert witness.

As a consultant, he can and has :

  • advised on the structure of, written, reviewed and improved documentation from contracts worth £50k under a Short Contract to £500m under the Term Services Contract to £3.5bn annual spend for the MoD.
  • worked with NEC project teams to modify their structure and how they communicate to work more efficiently and effectively together 
  • frequently advised on contractual differences with the intention that they do not become costly disputes including being an expert witness on a £200+m difference of opinion. 

As a trainer, what sets him apart from other trainers is the depth of his knowledge and training style. Words commonly put of feedback forms are :

  • engaging / enthusiastic,
  • practical / pragmatic, and
  • flexible / conversational as he asks for and directly answers participants' specific questions.
1Stimulus to good management

NEC stimulates good project management between the parties in a contract. Better project management leads to better more successful projects. Jon can train people up on what the contract says and best practice in managing and administrating the contract.

2Clarity & simplicity

The NEC contracts are written in plain English with a logical structure and contract procedures. But as one lawyer said "don't be lulled into a false sense of security by its plain English : the implications and what you have to do don't jump out at you." Jon can explain the nuances of the clauses and what needs to be done to effectively operate the contract.


NEC is a family of contracts with each contract having a "pick'n'mix" set of options so that the user can rapidly assemble a 'fit for purpose' contract strategy which means it can used across a whole range of situations. Jon can provide training and consultancy on contract strategy and selecting the right contracts and options for your project. As a facilitator, he can devise an engaging workshop to work with a project team to do this.


For a free discussion on how NEC training or consultancy can help deliver better projects and programmes for you, contact Jon Broome.

Email: jon@leadingedgeprojects.co.uk
Tel: +44(0)7970 428 929

Why use me?

Find out more about Jon's experience in training teams to use NEC and helping companies resolve disputes.

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“As a contractor, the ethos of the NEC Contracts has enabled a more open and less litigious approach to contracting. Jon is a great proponent of this form of Contract and his writings, training seminars and advice have been without doubt second to none.”

Trevor Exton
ex-Commercial Director, Jackson Civil Engineering Group Ltd

Case Studies

Impartial NEC3 & Partnering advice

Impartial NEC3 contract and partnering adviser for the advanced utility works on the 5.6km Luas Cross City line extension to help deliver it on time and without dispute.

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What our clients say:

“Jon provided impartial & constructive contractual and commercial advice for the benefit of the project, as opposed just the RPA, and helped us implement the contract more effectively and efficiently.”

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Using NEC3 to improve MoD Estates

Helping the MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) choose and develop NEC3 contracts for their £3.5 bn pa spend Next Generation Estates Contracts.

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What our clients say:

“I’m leaving DIO to take up a new post … . I wanted to say how much I appreciated working with you over the past couple of years.”

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Bespoke NEC3 training for Connect Plus

Providing wide ranging, role specific training on NEC3 for Connect Plus – the people who keep the M25 running - whilst identifying areas for improving their performance.

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What our clients say:

“Jon’s work has provided invaluable advice and assurance on a number of fronts. The enthusiasm and energy he brings to training sessions and workshops means participants feel engaged and involved.”

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writing the book on NEC2, 3 and 4 !

As a result of his involvement with in NEC’s development, Jon has written the top-selling books on the 2nd, 3rd and now 4th edition. Each edition of his book has been updated to not only take account of changes to the NEC contract family, but also in the light of his consultancy experiences giving practical guide for anyone involved in preparing, administering or contributing to a NEC contract.

The current book, written in an engaging style, introduces the NEC4 family of contracts, and how they fit together. It draws on many practical examples to illustrate good practice so that whether you are a contractor or project manager, you gain a better understanding of how to build up and assemble a contract and run a NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) for successful project outcomes.

On publication, one reviewer stated it was set to become "Back in 2012, I thought that Jon Broome's NEC3 Guide was the best NEC book I had seen; now this new NEC4 edition is certainly the best"

It is the top rated NEC3 book on Amazon, with 12 reviewers giving it 4.4 out of 5 stars.