Andy Hewitt – Executive Officer
Many years ago, I was working as a freelance commercial, contracts or project manager. On two occasions, I was employed by claims consultants JR Knowles, who were justifiably regarded as the experts on construction claims. I must have done something right, because at the end of the second job, they invited me to work for them on a full-time basis. I enjoyed this type of work, so I accepted the offer.
I have to admit that whilst I had a basic idea of claims in those days, I was a long way from being an expert. I did, however, have the distinct advantage of working alongside some very knowledgeable people and had access to the JR Knowles knowledge base, so I set about educating myself. During this time, I worked hard to develop my craft and due to the fact that I was dealing with claims and related issues on a daily basis, I soon became proficient at both preparing and responding to claims and although I say it myself, I produced some good work.
Fast forward several years and I was working for a project management consultancy on a very large project that had gone wrong and one of my responsibilities was to review the contractor’s many claims. Looking at the claims, I was amazed that this respected contractor, who had constructed many large and iconic projects, seemed unable to produce claims which contained even the most basic requirements for awards to be made. When I considered the amount of money being claimed, this was even more unbelievable. It occurred to me however, that whilst I had been fortunate to obtain a good education on the subject during my JR Knowles days, most people in the industry did not have this benefit and seemed to be making things up as they went along. To me, this indicated that there was something seriously wrong with the industry and consequently, I decided to help people in such a position by sharing my knowledge of claims through my book, Construction Claims and Responses.
After the book was published, I was contacted by several people enquiring about further training on the subject of claims, but at the time, I had to advise them that to my knowledge there was no such training available. This however coincided with me leaving the corporate world to start a small consultancy practice specialising in contractual matters, claims and disputes. Having identified this gap in the market for training, I was also inspired to develop training courses on claims, which we marketed under the Claims Class brand. The courses were well received, and I soon found that people were asking my advice on the subject of claims on a regular basis.
Having got to know many people on our courses and having corresponded with many more, it occurred to me that people involved in claims came from three broad categories – people who had gained a high level of proficiency through experience, those who had a working knowledge, but wished to improve their knowledge and those wishing to gain practical experience in the first place. Claims had by now become a specialist subject and could justifiably be regarded as being a sub-profession within the industry and I consequently considered that those people who had gained a level of expertise should be recognised as having done so in the same way that a quantity survey may gain recognition through membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Also, given the interest in training that we had discovered, it also seemed that it would be a good thing for like-minded people to be able to share knowledge, find information and to help each other and this was particularly true for those who were aspiring to become proficient in the subject of claims. This is pretty much what other respected organisations do through professional institutes, so the idea of a claims institute was born.
I had the opportunity to discuss this idea with Roger Knowles who was extremely enthusiastic about the concept and offered to support the initiative and subsequently, the ICCP was born. I, along with my colleagues in my consultancy business put many hours of work into developing the concept, setting membership criteria, organising systems, procedures, forms and templates, registering the organisation as a non-profit organisation and setting up banking and payment facilities. We commissioned a website, the corporate branding and created service agreements with the various people and organisations who would be needed to manage and administer the institute. Needless to say, none of this came free, so I backed my belief in what had now become the ICCP by funding all the set-up expenses and the initial operating costs through my consultancy business.
I hope that the story of how the ICCP came about shows that I am dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate about everything that the ICCP stands for and what it can do for its members.
Keith Kirkwood – President
I am a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyor. I have over 45 years’ experience in the construction, property and civil engineering industries and have worked throughout the UK and in over 20 countries around the globe including Europe, the Middle East, USA, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
I am currently Chairman of Bennington Green, one of the UK’s leading independent multi-disciplined consultancies as well as Chairman of Bennington Green Decipher Ltd. and Woolven and Brown Ltd. I started my career with John Laing Ltd. one of the UK’s largest civil engineering contractors and have since worked with property developers, clients, contractors and sub-contractors. I founded Schofield Lothian in 1986 and developed it into a £14 million turnover company making it one of the top 10 UK Quantity Surveying Companies at the time. I have also been a Group Non-Executive Director for the Driver Group, one of the UK’s largest AIM listed claims consultancy businesses.
I am a past Chairman of the UK Society of Construction Law (SCL) and remain on the council. I have been instrumental in the growth of the SCL internationally and remain an active participant. I am credited with being on the drafting panel for both the first and the revised editions of the SCL Delay and Disruption Protocols. I have given evidence as an independent expert in Adjudication, Arbitration, the UK TCC and the American Courts. I have extensive knowledge in all areas of construction and a proven track record of success as a negotiator, mediator, arbitrator, adjudicator and expert. I have also lectured internationally on a variety of topics around the world. I was appointed as the President of the Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners in 2018 and I am delighted to be a part of its growth.
William (Bill) Michael Bordill – FICCP
Having enjoyed and benefitted from the experience of others for over 35 years I feel it is time for me to give something back to the industry. The ICCP is an ideal vehicle to achieve this ambition. I am a company director, treasurer for the Forum for the Built Environment and a committee member of the CIArb and at the same time, I have completed my CIArb adjudication studies. Oh, and so far this year I have also recorded over 50 hours of CPD. Busy people get things done! I will bring energy, commitment and experience to the future development of the ICCP.
I am well known to both Andy Hewitt (founding member of the ICCP) and Keith Kirkwood (current President of the ICCP) and from direct experience I will work effectively and productively with these people to move the ICCP forwards.
I have extensive; claims, claims management and dispute resolution experience. I am a problem solver, a hard worker and a strategic thinker.
I think there is a gap for the ‘real’ knowledge and skill required to be a competent claims practitioner. The method to achieve the right outcome (recovery of full entitlement) is so often missing from the work I see in general claims practitioners work. The ability to draft a compelling narrative is a craft all of its own. The devil is truly in the detail and claims practitioners need to search, and search hard, to find it. Once the detail has been discovered, it needs to be dissected and re-produced as hard factual evidence to support entitlement from the contract. The narrative is required to tell the story which must flow from; what should have happened, to what did happen, the consequences of this change and then how the contract offers relief and how the consequences of the event have been substantiated. I find it more compelling to lead the reader to the solution.
I believe the ICCP can fill this gap, and others, in developing the ‘real’ knowledge of claims practitioners and together we can work hard to upskill our membership. The ICCP can be the flag bearer for practical skill – the ‘real’ knowledge.
Craig Smith – FICCP
I started working on construction sites as a sixteen year-old trainee QS straight from school and whilst I’ve had the odd spell based in an office, most of my subsequent positions have been site-based. Therefore, like a lot of our members, I deal with claims on a day to day basis and at an early stage.
Every day is that familiar balancing act of trying to ensure that the right records are kept by the construction guys, of managing my employer’s expectations that we will recover all of our costs while never having to pay anything out and of making sure that timely notices are submitted, but in a way that won’t upset the client. It’s the practical world where the merits of your claim are less important than your company’s place in the project pecking order or the leverage that you have from the criticality of any outstanding works.
Despite all that, I enjoy dealing with claims and take satisfaction from those times when a solution can be reached that keeps everyone working and solvent without having to call in the lawyers or the consultants.
The Institute is a relatively new organisation and growth is crucial if our skills and experience as Claims Practitioners are to be recognised.
I’ve been a member of various steering committees in the past, from consortium management to HSE, and have experience in providing strategic direction and overseeing progress. I’d like to think that my experience will reflect that of a lot of our members’ and it is an honour to represent those of us who deal with claims from a site-based perspective and as part of a wider daily remit.
Paul Gibbons – FICCP
I have been involved with the construction industry for over 22 years’ and I have a passion for understanding complex construction projects and to developing claim entitlement on behalf of my clients. My experience covers time and quantum related matters and I have represented clients as an advocate as well as being appointed as Expert.
I am actively involved with other professional institutions such as RICS, CIOB and Academy of Experts and I have recently become involved with Constructing Excellence by advising on their panel about “organisational resilience”.
I am keen to share my knowledge and experience and to develop the professional claims person of tomorrow. I am already a mentor for ICCP members and I am proud to join the ICCP Steering Committee and welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge with the ICCP and its members.
Nina Hewitt-Tyrrell – General Manager (Non-Voting)
I have been involved with the ICCP since the beginning. Having spent 5 years’ in general management and marketing roles for large audit and advisory firms, I joined Andy Hewitt at his construction consultancy practice in 2011. I have since spent the past 7 years’ working within the construction industry putting my marketing and operations knowledge to effective use.
Somewhere along the way, Andy’s idea for the ICCP emerged and it fitted that we would continue to work together to bring the ICCP into existence. Today, I am responsible for overall management of the institute from A-Z. As a growing institute with an energetic and passionate membership community, each day brings a new challenge and I am proud to be part of the growth of the community.