Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The client should start with us, says Laing O'Rourke

New Laing O'Rourke UK and Europe boss Tony Douglas this week signalled his intention to take the contractor 'upstream' to compete with international political giants like Bechtel.

The business has already gone head to head with heavyweight Bechtel for the job of programme manager of London’s Olympics, and won, as part of the CLM consortium.

"I want the client to start with me, not put effort into working with others and then engage us," he said.

"It's not the Bechtel model. It’s more sophisticated. Does it inhabit their space? Yes it does."

Douglas said he was chasing the opportunity upstream and pointed out that 80% of cost is locked in at design.

Laing O’Rourke is currently beefing up the numbers of engineering staff to give it more strength in depth. It took on 249, mostly civils, graduates this year.

Douglas said he was not concerned that Bechtel might be called on to step in to take over the high-profile Olympic job at any stage in the future.

"It will open on time, and it will set out what we can do," he said. "Does it cause me sleepless nights – no!"

Douglas confirmed that Laing O'Rourke has been approached to take on the construction management
of London's Shard in place of the current hopeful, its CLM partner Mace.

"The developer has sought to engage us in a conversation. We will determine whether the right basis exists to deliver value to the client. If it does we will, and if it doesn't we won't. It's all about risk and projects of that nature have a high degree of risk. We are trying to determine whether the profile is acceptable."

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.