An interview in our series, 'Spotlighting Adjudicators'
What were you, professionally, before you started work as an Adjudicator?
I was and still practice as a Quantity Surveyor - I started my career in the mid 1980’s with a large multi-national M&E contractors as a QS where I undertook the RICS exams on a day release basis alongside main contractor and client Quantity Surveyors, becoming Chartered in 1994.
Throughout my whole career I have worked primarily in the M&E sector of the construction industry and I still work regularly as a QS helping small local sub-contractors in this sector, which I feel helps enormously when dealing with quantum disputes.
I was accepted onto the RICS Panel of Adjudicators in 2020 and I am now also on the CIArb, CIC, CEDR and UK Adjudicators Panels
How in your view has adjudication changed over your career?
When Adjudication was first introduced to the industry I was working for a large M&E contractor and I remember it gave them great comfort that finally there was a legal mechanism that could ensure payments were to be made on time, coupled with knowledge of why money was being with-held from applications for payment. This confidence came with a massive uncertainty as to how it would be operated and enforced and also whether all parties to construction contracts would abide by the process.
Now, however with a body of case law supporting adjudication and the courts largely enforcing Adjudicators decisions that uncertainty has dwindled. So I would summarise that it has changed for the better, as the uncertainty that was once felt around the use of adjudication has been removed and it is now a successful method of allowing parties to a construction contract the opportunity to solve their issues.
What advice would you give to 'new' adjudicators?
It is a long road to earning a living purely as an Adjudicator it doesn’t happen overnight.
Gaining a pass on the Adjudication Diploma from the RICS like I did, will only give you the basic tools to be an Adjudicator so you will need to continue your education and training and keep learning. A valuable source of continual learning is to attend as many CPD events conferences as you can, talk to and listen to other Adjudicators, no matter what their level of experience.