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Martha briefs the industry

News - Over 150 top consultants, contractors and clients gathered at Claridges last week for the much coveted NCE/ACE Consultants Awards.

BRITISH CONSULTANTS celebrated another remarkable year last week at the fourth annual Consultants of the Year Awards.

Total fees rose to £7.36bn in 2006 from £6.12bn the year before; staff numbers are up 13.5% to over 130,000; and civil/ structural staff numbers grew by 10% to 78,000. And 75% of the 277 respondents to NCE's annual Consultants File - published alongside NCE this week - are expecting more growth next year.

NCE editor Antony Oliver and Association for Consultancy & Engineering chairman Mike Whitwell toasted the best performers at London's famous Claridges hotel last Friday.

The awards - given to highperforming ms and individuals - were sponsored by Barclays, Grif ths & Armour, BST, Hays Consulting Engineering and Kennedys.

Guests included Olympic Delivery Authority director of infrastructure & utilities Simon Wright, and Tube Lines delivery manager for new works Laurie Quinn.

Cross London Rail Links executive chairman Doug Oakervee joined luminaries from consulting and contracting.

Political insights came from guest speaker Martha Kearney, who this week joined Radio 4's The World at One. Kearney offered her thoughts on the likely st moves of Gordon Brown as prime minister.

Get Mark to buy you a pint! The Consultants Awards 2007 saw the launch of a new industry wide competition - to get NCE's notoriously-careful-inthe-cash-department features editor Mark Hansford to buy you a drink. Just send us a photo with you and Mark and your drink - doesn't have to be alcoholic, could be coffee - and we'll run the best, hopefully weekly, but we suspect annually.

Congratulations to the rst Hansford challenge winners - Gaelle Blake and Tim Cook of Hays Consulting Engineering.

Well done you two!

1: Barclays' Peter Day with Scott Wilson's Geoff French: 2: Griffiths & Armour's Stephen Bamforth with Peter Twelftree of Steer Davies Gleave; 3: Eduardo Niebles from BST Global and Hyder's Alan Proctor; 4: Hays Consulting Engineering's Tim Cook with Fiona Cobb of Price & Myers; 5: Paul Carter of Kennedys and Tom Errington from PBA

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