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Amey, Mott MacDonald and JBA big winners in NCE/ACE Consultants of the Year Awards

Amey has scooped the NCE/ACE Consultants of the Year Major Firm award after 12 months of success, with Mott MacDonald named international firm and JBA named medium winner.

Halcrow’s Nariba Gittens won the Young Consultant of the Year Award and WSP’s post-tsunami Banda Aceh reconstruction team claimed the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The winners were announced last Friday at an awards lunch at Claridges in London. They are sponsored by ACO Water Management, Beale and Company, BST Global, Griffiths & Armour and Hays Civil Engineering.

Amey took the major firm award after a year of major successes. The firm stunned the UK consulting sector this year by bidding for and winning all of Network Rail’s Civil Examination Framework Agreements and netting some £235M in fees to the consulting business over the next five years.

It also picked up two of the Highways Agency’s TechMACs, a long term deal with Herefordshire County Council to run highways and property and it is an integral part of the team on the £2.5bn Birmingham highways maintenance pfi for which its parent Amey Group, is preferred bidder.

Having spent the last six years repositioning itself away from low−value, high−volume contracting towards a more lucrative world of infrastructure management, Amey Consulting now has 2,410 staff, fees of £203.2M and a business model that many others are attempting to replicate.

Purchase in 2006 of former Consultants Awards winner Owen Williams established the consultancy business which is has been building since around the firm’s three core markets of environment, local government and the inter-urban sector. 70% of the consultancy’s contracts are now direct with the wider market.

International winner

For the third year running, Mott MacDonald took the International Firm award.

Long-term stability and a solid growth strategy have resulted in yet another fantastic year for Mott MacDonald in the international market, with 65% of its business now coming from outside the UK.

The company’s 20-year strategy of growth and diversity by sector, discipline and particularly geography continues to pay dividends, as the firm appears to have ridden out the worst of the recession in 2009, and turnover has this year hit £1bn for the first time

With 6,450 of its staff working overseas, projects in 140 countries and permanent offices in 50 of them, it is truly “a global consultant with UK headquarters rather than a UK consultant with international operations”.

In recent months the company has landed significant roles on international landmark projects including the £10bn Tianjin Eco City in China, Vancouver’s £1.5bn Port Mann/Highway 1 upgrade and the £110M rehabilitation of the Nara irrigation system in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

Other significant recent projects include the 46,000-capacity Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa, one of the venues for this summer’s World Cup, and a deal to support energy company Shell on products distribution engineering projects in 10 countries across the Middle East and South East Asia.

Medium winner

Medium Firm award went to environmental specialist JBA, having proved itself a canny operator both in boom times and in the recession.

JBA has shown a remarkable stability in both good times and bad, growing steadily and building a strong reputation both in the UK and internationally. It now ranks in the top five flood management consultancies in the UK and is picking up prestigious commissions around the world.

More details on all the winners are in NCE’s Consultants File.

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