Harris Consulting International is one of the UK’s leading consultancies to the engineering and construction industries carrying out work both in the UK and internationally.
Our core disciplines in quantity surveying, commercial/contract management, and forensic analysis enable us to provide a commercially informed construction contract consultancy. We are experienced in and deal with the full spectrum of matters pertaining to engineering and construction contracts, namely:
We have developed specialist capabilities in the fields of:
and in particular:
The Company’s combined wealth of knowledge, skill and experience is exemplary. It is supported by high calibre consultants, some of whom are dual qualified in the law or a legally related discipline, in addition to their basic construction related qualifications. We have experience of all major forms of contract, and particular expertise with respect to JCT, NEC and FIDIC contracts.
Our consultants manage and assist commissions under the guidance of Michael Harris.
Michael Harris is one of the country’s leading quantum experts for M&E. He is a registered construction adjudicator and has been nominated on more than 100 disputes. In addition Harris Consulting International provides advice and represents parties in adjudication and has an enviable success rate.
The Company’s proven record of accomplishment in delivering a professional service to the highest standard has resulted in continuing and successful relationships with clients from all sectors of the engineering and construction industry – and we are proud to be associated with them.
The Services that Harris Consulting International provides is tailored to meet the clients best interests at the optimum cost. It is essential to us that we provide best value for money.
As and when required we supplement our in-house resources with highly skilled practitioners with whom we have developed a close working relationship over a number of years, and who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the core disciplines provided by the company.
A proper Procurement Strategy is essential to ensure risk is apportioned to meet the planned objectives of the contracting parties. Harris Consulting International’s experience and expertise in this area adds value and benefit to our clients – typically in the following areas:
We fully support the principles of ‘partnering’ and ‘strategic alliancing’ espoused by Sir Michael Latham in his report on the construction industry, ‘Constructing the Team’ (1994) and by Sir John Egan in his report, ‘Rethinking Construction’ (1998).
It is our opinion, however, that ‘partnering’ and ‘alliancing’ do not eradicate the requirement to ensure that the parties’ obligations and the scope of services/supply are fully and properly defined. This brings certainty to the parties’ contracting arrangements and reduces the potential for disputes.
Harris Consulting International’s pre and post-contract commercial management service provides clients with the assurance that their commercial interests will be protected through the employment of dedicated and highly skilled surveyors and engineers.
Commercial awareness and the correct administration of construction contracts during the site phase are vital to project success and financial viability. This applies equally (if not more so) to the contract formation process.
Proper recording of the contract formation process and meticulous care in the production and checking of the contract documents for signature are essential.
As part of Harris Consulting International’s commercial management service, personnel can be provided to carry out a specific short term task or a more long term commercial role.
Whether working on a short or long term commission, our quantity surveying service includes inter alia:
Harris Consulting International is regularly appointed to carry out contract audits on final accounts, contract administration and procedures and/or discrete areas of a particular contract.
The audit role typically involves verifying whether the contract and/or final account process has been operated and completed in accordance with the Contract. However, project sometimes benefit from audits being carried out before and/or during the works to give effect to changes to ensure delivery of projects / services in accordance with the parties’ contractual obligations.
Our staff is highly skilled in undertaking commercial and/or contract audits on current projects or at final account stage. Our ability to interpret contractual obligations, identify the scope of works and assimilate where the risk lies, leads to cost certainty and confidence for our clients in their budget and contract management.
Changes to the circumstances envisaged by and dealt with in a contract almost inevitably lead to changed costs for one or other of the parties.
The fundamental basis for the identification and evaluation of any change(s) to the envisaged circumstances is an accurate analysis/description of the nature of the change – and this must be supported by as much corroborating evidence as is reasonably possible if the party seeking cost redress (or the party seeking to avoid claimed redress) is to be successful.
The collection, interpretation and representation of this evidence in a manner which would be acceptable to a court of law (i.e. in a forensic manner) requires considerable skill and experience if a party is to put its case in the best possible way to the other side.
The interpretation and analysis of the evidence must be carried out in a way which reveals the true causes of the changes to the party’s operations and the inescapable effects which those changes had upon the costs incurred by the party.
In order to establish the true position – which will allow its client to make fully informed decisions – Harris Consulting International specialises in carrying out:
Whilst these principles and procedures are equally applicable (and sometimes required) with respect to variations ordered by the Employer (which are usually within the contemplation of the contract), it is more often the case that they are required when the changed circumstances are not so readily apparent, or there are a large number of changes affecting the contract works at the same time.
In such cases lengthy delays and/or considerable additional cost are the likely consequence(s), and the parties are likely to hold differing views on the extent to which liquidated damages are applicable.
In respect of any such changes, Harris Consulting International specialises in:
Harris Consulting International specialises in providing dispute resolution services and advice to the full spectrum of construction industry clients.
Whilst our staff will do their utmost to facilitate a commercial settlement which is favourable to our client, sometimes disputes are unavoidable.
Members of our staff are contract dispute experts who hold additional legal and/or arbitration qualifications. Wherever possible and relevant we work closely with clients’ in-house teams and legal advisers to develop focused strategies. Using authoritative and proven analytical skills, we detail and progress clients’ cases to achieve success, including where possible early settlement.
We recognise the need to be proportionate at all stages of dispute resolution.
Our formal dispute resolution services to clients cover:
Harris Consulting International specialises in providing impartial contractual and commercial advice on an extensive range of engineering and construction contract related matters.
Through experience gained over many years working on a wide variety of projects (including hospitals, hotels, office and residential blocks, refineries, waste to energy plants, factories and transport infrastructure projects) Harris Consulting International is able to offer sound and specialised advice on the major mechanical and electrical engineering element of these works.
Our clients in this field comprise private and public sector employer bodies (including public utilities and government departments) main contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers.
Conducting FIDIC adjudication’s under a FIDIC contract offers a good means for avoiding, resolving and managing disputes in international projects.
Under either the DAB (Dispute Advisory Board) or DRB (Dispute Review Board) process, the effectiveness will depend on the goodwill of the parties throughout the process.
DAB / DRB appointment and procedures needs to be tailored to take into account a projects needs and a proportionate approach is required at all times.
Harris Consulting International possesses the necessary skill and expertise to assist a client in disputes arising under international contracts carried out under the FIDIC suite of contracts and to this end Michael Harris is an ‘RICS Accredited Dispute Board Member’ and conversant with International Arbitration.
Harris Consulting International specialises in providing expert advice and report services to the full spectrum of construction industry clients.
Members of our staff are contract experts experienced in offering sound contractual advice to clients with a view to bringing about an advantageous resolution of their contractual problems.
Where a matter calls for an expert report or attendance at a tribunal to give expert testimony we are able to assist by providing the requisite service(s).
Harris Consulting International provides expert witness services, litigation support, and forensic analysis investigations to legal, insurance, and construction firms. From simple to complex issues Harris Consulting International, recognise the need to be proportionate when dealing with all expert matters.
The provision to international clients of the core services identified within these pages is handled within Harris Consulting International by a specialist international case management section.
The section is headed by a manager, Harold Jepson, with many years’ experience in the international arena who has conducted numerous references to arbitration acting for both claimant and respondent. Harold has acted for a multiplicity of clients comprising Employers, Architects, Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Suppliers and Insolvency Practitioners. He has worked both on the national and international scene with a client base which has extended to Ireland, the Netherlands, Aruba, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia and Morocco. Such assignments have led to his involvement in major disputes in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, the Caribbean and Ireland.
Harris Consulting International has direct access to specialist construction law leading Counsel both in the UK and around the world
The areas of work for which Harris Consulting International provides core services internationally include:
Civil Engineering – tunnels, bridges, roads, rail, airports, marine and dredging, pipelines, water, irrigation, hydropower
Building Construction – hospitals, schools, prestige hotels, office blocks, banks, palaces and government buildings
Process Engineering – chemical and manufacturing plants
Power and Electrical – power stations, transmission lines and sub-stations, wind farms
Oil and Gas – onshore refineries, subsea pipelines tank storage farms
Mechanical and Electrical (M & E) elements of the above
Harris Consulting International’s extensive experience of adjudication includes not only acting on behalf of referring and responding parties, but also acting as the adjudicator; Michael Harris (RICS) is a registered adjudicator.
Sometimes disputes are unavoidable but using authoritative and proven analytical skills, we detail clients’ cases in a manner that expedites outcomes that help safeguard our clients’ financial and contractual interests.
Harris Consulting International, under the auspices of Michael Harris have taken part in over 400 adjudications either representing parties or as appointed Adjudicator’s. In addition, Harris Consulting International employs self-motivated individuals who have undertaken specialist professional training in the area of adjudication.
Adjudication as a means of resolving disputes quickly, and in most cases, finally, is the most frequently used dispute resolution process in construction. However, in the last decade, adjudication has advanced from a rudimentary dispute resolution process to a more complex one since its statutory inclusion in most construction contracts from 1998 under the ‘Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Part II: Construction Contracts; “Construction Act”), incorporating proposed changes in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill (Part 8), as amended (2009).
Adjudication provides plenty of pitfalls for the unwary and those who fail to keep abreast of such developments. Staying at the leading edge of adjudication involves regular appraisal of changes in the law and continued professional development in what is a very specialist and rapidly evolving field.
However we do believe that adjudication is no exception to the general rule that, whether claiming or defending, there is no substitute for knowing and understanding the case and presenting it in clear and precise terms whether to a contracting party or to the tribunal.
Harris Consulting International strives at all times to achieve this objective and has experienced a level of success matched only by the best practitioners operating in this specialist field.
Michael is a leading expert in the Mechanical and Electrical services industry. He has been cross examined a number of times by counsel in both Arbitration and Adjudication and provided independent expert appraisal in Mediation. Since commencing work in the industry (1977) he has worked for national and international specialist mechanical and electrical contractors and has gained extensive experience in services work on industrial and commercial developments, government contracts, hospitals, hotels, specialised factories and process industry projects.
He has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of procurement strategies, commercial and contractual audits and the management and resolution of construction disputes. He provides advice on contract commercial management, subcontract and specialist plant procurement, financial procedures – cost control and project valuation, project profit and loss reconciliation, short and long term planning and dispute resolution.
Michael is a high achiever and in recognition of growing adjudication in the UK construction market under the Housing, Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, (the “Construction Act”), and latterly the Economic, Construction and Development Act (2009)he obtained the status of “Registered Adjudicator” with the RICS, and is regularly nominated Adjudicator. In addition to fulfilling the role of Adjudicator in nearly 60 disputes he has also represented and advised many clients in respect of disputes referred to adjudication.
In support of his role to overseas clients Michael is now an accredited Dispute Board Member and continues to take International Arbitration exams through the CIArb.
During 2015 Michael was invited to provide quantity surveying advice and practice to a new school project in Gilgil, Kenya. Michael provides this assistance on a pro-bono basis and in early 2016 was invited to become a trustee of the charity HSK (Harambee Schools Kenya).
In addition Michael is providing the contract administration services for a new church build in his local town, Otford Kent.
Principal Consultant Engineering & Construction
Harris Consulting International is always on the look out for high calibre personnel to maintain the high quality services for which the company has earned its reputation. Our aim is always to provide the best possible advice and service, irrespective of the nature or size of client, and to develop long term relationships where clients are pleased to provide repeat business or recommendations of Harris Consulting International to other potential clients.
Being a firm regulated by the RICS we are pleased to subscribe to their core values expected by construction professionals, namely:
Potential candidates are likely to have a minimum of 5 years post qualification experience and/or hold senior positions in Contractor/Sub-contractor or Employer organisations operating in the constructing industry; demonstrate an ability to work on their own initiative, be self motivated and have a track record for providing high quality services within the core services provided by the company. High quality oral and written communication skills are important.
Plainly, employment is subject to work load, but interested candidates are welcome to write to Michael Harris at Harris Consulting International, providing a resume of experience and an up to date CV.