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The facts

Most consultants are small firms or one-person businesses. Eighty five percent of the Association of Consulting Engineers' member firms employ less than 100 people.

The smallest consultant listed in NCE's 1999 Consultants File was Farebrother & Partnerswhich employs 20 civil and structural staff, generating an annual fee income of £880,000.

The largest employer ofcivil and structural staff listed in the Consultants File is WS Atkins whose 3,988 staff generated a turnover of £365M.

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