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Current consultants fee levels unsustainable says ACE boss

Consultants must resist client pressure, stand their ground and push for higher fees, according to Association of Consulting and Engineering (ACE) chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin.

In response to concerns from ACE members, Ogunshakin said that current fee levels were unsustainable, with consultants typically only charging 10–12% of the final cost of projects.

"In the past, we could go to Poland and other parts of the world to source skilled workers. Now we cannot do this."

Ogunshakin is this week leading a delegation to the US and Canada to examine how the system of negotiation, rather than "backwards auction", has resulted in higher fees.

"Because of the need to keep staff, salaries are increasing. Other costs are also increasing, but clients put the pressure on and squeeze their costs, meaning lower fees for consultants," he said. "Clients who will not pay will not get the best solutions for their projects."

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