I have always believed that, ideally, one’s working life and professional interests should be closely aligned. If you enjoy your work, the chances are that you will do a good job, provided the ability, experience and background knowledge are already in place.
I therefore feel fortunate that my three core strands of interest – construction, law and education – combine to offer a fairly unique platform for my professional career. These disciplines complement each other and enable me to provide clients with a flexible, broad-based advisory and consultancy service.
The construction industry is very much in my blood. Having been born into the family building & construction business originally founded in the nineteenth century, my first proper taste of the industry was spending long university holidays labouring on sites. In 1984 I officially joined the family group of companies, which included a contracting arm specialising in the redevelopment of listed buildings and a high quality joinery company.
I built up considerable experience in all aspects of managing a thriving construction business, both main and sub-contractor, including contracts management, quantity surveying and health & safety issues. I also served on many industry wide committees, associations and working parties, including the Construction Confederation, JCT, National Federation of Builders and the Contractors Legal Group, of which I was chairman from 2009 to 2013.
Having graduated with a degree in Law from Oxford University in 1979 and subsequently studied for Law Society Finals Examination, I was appointed as an articled Clerk at Messrs. Rowe & Maw. I qualified as a Solicitor in 1982 and was employed by Messrs. Rowe & Maw (now Mayer Brown LLP) as an Assistant Solicitor, specialising in Company and Commercial Law.
Once qualified I practised as a commercial law solicitor until 1984, with experience in private company takeovers, joint ventures, business contract terms and conditions and insolvency work. I have retained a very strong interest in law since returning to construction, and have, through my work and additional training, become expert in construction contracts, culminating in my work representing the industry on the Latham Review of the Construction Act and, more recently, my training and qualification as an adjudicator. In this I am unusual as most adjudicators are practising lawyers, surveyors or engineers – very few have the legal knowledge and practical knowledge of the industry I possess.