The Varieties of Construction Dispute Jobs
Posted by Steve Thomas , Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada on Monday, January 15, 2024
When construction dispute jobseekers get in touch with us at Maxim Recruitment, we like to establish the exact type of job role they are looking for and to do our best to secure it for them. On one level this can be obvious in terms of ensuring that if they ask for a Delay Analyst role, we shortlist and work towards finding one for them. However, it struck me recently that there are many more additional variables at play, covering a variety of factors including location, construction sector, company size and company ethos and company culture. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these with examples.
Location - London
In the UK, as you might expect, construction dispute employers and the related job vacancies are clustered in and around London. While the work from home trend may remain in some employment sectors, within construction disputes the ability to meet clients, develop and maintain business and be able to meet to brainstorm and collaborate in person as a team remain important requirements. Some very senior Quantum or Delay Experts are able to fully manage their own time and work location, however most are better advised to be showing a commitment to networking, interacting and learning in a claims/disputes head office with senior colleagues in order to advance their expertise and career opportunities. A good example of such a job is this Quantum Senior Associate Director role in which a high calibre Senior QS can move across into the world of quantum analysis and advice work.
Location – Not London
Some national construction dispute consultancies have a number of regional offices around the UK in locations such as Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow or Edinburgh. Other single office claims, dispute or contract management consultancies can be companies based regionally for historical or personal reasons related to their past or current owners. Choosing to work and live outside of London is of course a personal decision with related pros and cons that we can discuss with you.
Location – Not UK
Specialism in the construction disputes sector is definitely an exportable commodity, and offers claims consultants and quantum and delay professionals exciting career options as well as a chance to work in other countries. Current hotspots for construction dispute professionals include Hong Kong, Australia and Norway (!) Once we know your experience and job preferences, we will be happy to advise you where your skills are likely to be in the most demand.
Within the broad construction claims/disputes/arbitration/adjudication/project recovery specialist services sector, there lies a number of dedicated subject area specialisms. Some consultants will cover all areas in the construction industry, while others will specialise in areas such as residential, high rise, bridges, civil infrastructure, ports/marine or even matters relating to oil & gas or even shipbuilding. Early in your career, a broad exposure to a number of these areas can be very positive, but later in your career, specialising in a particular field can be a great way of building your reputation and becoming a recognised WWL (Who’s Who Legal) expert. The Maxim team can propose choices to you based on our knowledge of which consultancies are particularly strong within particular subject areas.
Some jobseekers are preconditioned to think that large/small organisations are automatically good/bad. At Maxim, we take a more pragmatic approach. To work on a massive arbitration, you may need to work for a large and well known player. To live in rural Yorkshire you may need to work for a small one - but again we can advise you of your options based on our experience of how things work.
Company Ethos and Company Culture
A final variable to mention relates to the values you want to work to, and to work around. Some construction disputes professionals are looking to maximise their income, utilisation and career progression, while others are focused on doing a premium job and to developing a long term reputation to receive positive feedback with clients and colleagues. We have employers that can offer each of these, and some that offer both! It is not to be underestimated how significant to job satisfaction the company culture and ethos can be.
I hope that this brief tour around the variables within construction dispute jobs has identified areas worth further thought and will encourage you to only move jobs for something that is better than what you have and/or offers you steady progression and satisfaction.
For a confidential discussion about your career options within construction dispute resolution either in the UK or internationally, please Send Us Your CV and we will do our best to help.