Having failed to convince me to buy Love Island's Casa Amor (see my article of 29 June) my teenage son alerted me to the forthcoming end of the hit TV series Game of Thrones. This is, I admit, one TV series that I have watched from beginning to end and is, compared to Love Island, rather more graphic and, best of all, no one mentions Brexit or links that particular word to the cutting down of trees.

Social media, the broadsheets and 'red tops' are full of articles as to how this fictional world of intrigue, love, betrayal, bloody conflict and much more will end. I am referring, of course, to Game of Thrones not Love Island.

The Telegraph's article, for example, alludes to the much anticipated final confrontation between the houses of Westeros (a colourful alliance of numerous independent family factions who have for the past few years been stabbing each other in the back on a regular basis - not a reference to Brexit politics) and the army of the undead (the so-called White Walkers). Indeed, this confrontation has been building up from the very start of the very first series since when Sean Bean, Charles Dance and Diana Rigg (to name just three famous actors) have met a less than NHS approved exit pathway, i.e. head chopped off, shot with a crossbow bolt whilst on the loo, and poisoned wine respectively.

They should have used a partnering or alliancing contract

But some would say that all these years of pain and suffering could have been avoided (or reduced) had the various independent factions entered into a partnering or alliancing agreement. Indeed, they could have made use of one of the existing forms of contract published and used by construction industry.

PPC 2000

The PPC 2000 (updated in 2013) form of contract which is a multi-party contract making use of KPIs and incentives along with risk registers etc could have been an ideal choice. 

This form of contract can be very useful when one is dealing with a collection of independent factions who, at the same time as trying to deliver a final product (a victory over an army of undead which has a dragon too) are seeking to increase their own individual power and wealth. This point should be kept in mind because no one enters into a complex contract which carries with it a certain degree of contractual and financial risk just to be friends.

An independent partnering adviser as provided for by the PPC 2000 could prove useful in terms of managing disagreements between the various 'partners' and helping to keep them on programme and budget.  That said, one might have to make specific provision for the partnering adviser to be replaced on a regular basis given the likelihood of him/her meeting a unduly premature and sticky end.

NEC forms

Having to "act in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation" might be asking a lot from some of the houses of Westeros but it is a good starting point.

The NEC forms have a partnering option, called optional clause X12 (Partnering) and the publishers of this suite of standard form contracts also publish a series of guides, including one on Alliancing. Such guides could be recommended reading for some of the CEOs in the houses of Westeros.

One practical advantage of the NEC forms would be their approach to dealing with problems as/when they arise rather than leaving everything to the end. By example, the early warning notice system could have helped the houses of Westeros to complete their preparations for the final confrontation on time and within budget. Indeed, had they completed these early they could each be sharing from a bonus payment.

Other forms of partnering/alliancing contracts

Of course there are other forms of partnering or alliance contracts that could have been used, including the 'Be collaborative' contract and the framework and term alliance contracts (FAC-1 and TAC-1). Finally, one might also want to consider either using or adapting the FIDIC forms of contract, or just drafting a bespoke Westeros form of partnering agreement.


The partnering/alliancing options open to the houses of Westeros are many. Had they chosen to sign up to such an agreement from the start then much (probably not all) of the pain and suffering they have each had to endure over recent years could have been avoided. Further, these various forms of contact would certainly reduce the risk (as is common with other standard form contracts) of disputes being put off until after the project is complete. This approach rarely ends well for anyone.

I don't understand why no one mentioned all of this to George R R Martin when he came up with his idea. Therefore, I do hope the houses of Westeros don't live (well perhaps die) to regret having not made use of a partnering or alliancing contract. We will all find out fairly soon.