JCT Appoints Woman as New Chair for the First Time

Head shot
Karen Kirkham, Chair of the JCT

THE FIRST WOMAN to be appointed as the Chair of the JCT, Karen Kirkham is a solicitor and head of construction at BDB Pitmans LLP.

Karen has 30 years’ experience working with JCT contracts, advising clients from all sectors of the industry. Her clients include commercial developers, occupiers, charities, local authorities, public infrastructure companies, contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and individual householders.

Listed as a leading construction legal practitioner in Chambers since 2008, she regularly publishes articles on topical construction issues.

Construction Confederation

Karen’s involvement and interest in JCT goes back a long way. She is a former legal director of the Construction Confederation during a key period for the industry. This was when major legislation, including the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and Arbitration Act 1996, was being passed.

Karen Kirkham, said, “I believe that the industry is facing a bracing, but also potentially exciting, few years. We need to respond to a huge number of challenges: Covid 19 and its economic aftermath, Brexit, so called ‘levelling up’ between regions and urban and rural populations, building safety after Grenfell and climate change. In responding, we also need to embrace greater diversity, new technologies and a spirit of collaboration.”

Speaking of Karen’s long association with JCT and as a user of its contracts, Neil Gower, JCT chief executive, said: “Karen exemplifies JCT’s values with her wide-ranging experience across multiple sectors and disciplines, her understanding of the requirements of different industry groups, and the need to bring them together for the benefit of all.

“We are delighted to announce Karen Kirkham as JCT chair, and look forward to her leadership and expertise as JCT supports the industry through the challenges ahead.”




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