Three key appointments to drive DGP's infrastructure growth
DGP has strengthened its newly formed UK infrastructure arm with Dave Pateman (Managing Director), Michael McMillan (Operations Director) and Darren Ramsay (Non-Executive Director) among its key appointments.
Ramsay brings 36-plus years' experience in contracting, particularly in the infrastructure sector, including executive leadership positions with JN Bentley and J. Murphy Group.
As the Managing Director at J. Murphy Group, he influenced the business strategy to support growth, advancing the £450 million business to a circa £1 billion organisation with multiple profitable divisions, including key infrastructure sectors such as Water, Utilities, Rail, Power, Tunnelling & Piling.
Pateman most recently held the position of Commercial Director with Balfour Beatty Major Projects, where he was a member of the Senior Leadership Team working with HS2 Area North. Prior to that, he amassed over 31 years’ experience across major projects in Rail, Air, Civil Engineering, Utilities and Telecommunications.
McMillan joins DGP Infrastructure with over 17 years professional experience working in various sectors including Highways, Civils, Rail, Local Authority and Utilities. He brings over six years' experience with the Kier Group (Highways), where he oversaw multimillion pound budgets to deliver maintenance and operations activities, including the recent M20 Smart Motorway. His earlier career saw him working within the design team at Mott MacDonald before moving on to Balfour Beatty/Mott MacDonald JV, on behalf of the Highways division.
Ramsay said he was excited to be working in parallel with the existing DGP businesses and newly appointed DGP Infrastructure Leadership Team. "As we start our journey to develop our future business strategy and grow the business, we seek to encompass the many opportunities that will emanate from the expanding UK infrastructure sector," he said.
The newly created roles will see the trio charged with growing the DGP Infrastructure Contracting business alongside DGP Logistics Group Managing Director Saheb Dhesi.
According to the World Economic Forum, the UK was ranked 11th out 141 countries in terms of the overall quality of its infrastructure in 2019. There is broad consensus that over the past 40 years the UK has under-invested in infrastructure.
Pre-COVID, UK regional investment strategies revolved around growth. Now even infrastructure projects at the UK regional level are evaluated on the basis of the stability they will deliver to local economies, companies and workers (click here).
Contractor issues head disputes list in 2020: Arcadis report
The average value of disputes globally rose from $30.7 million in 2019 to $54.26 million in 2020, while the length of disputes fell from 15 months in 2019 to 13.4 months, according to an Arcadis report.
The data, featured in Arcadis' 11th annual report, illustrates industry-wide ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic although interestingly the overall volume of disputes stayed relatively the same in 2020 as in 2019.
While trends in the value and length of disputes varied from region to region, all regions surveyed saw an increase in "mega disputes" related to bigger capital programs and private projects. Notably, more than 60% of survey respondents encountered project impacts due to COVID-19.
Owners, contractors, or subcontractors failing to understand and/or comply with their contractual obligations became the leading cause of construction disputes in 2020 (jumping from 3rd place in 2019), followed by owner-directed changes and third-party or force-majeure changes as the second and third-leading causes, respectively.
Highlights from the report include:
- Proper contract administration was a theme across the globe for the successful and early resolution of disputes
- Most disputes were settled through party-to-party negotiation, and a willingness to compromise played a key role in early resolution
- Among regions surveyed, the buildings (education, healthcare, retail/commercial, government) sector saw the most disputes
- In North America, construction dispute value rose from $18.8 million in 2019 to $37.9 million in 2020, while the length of disputes shortened from 17.6 to 14.2 months.
While cost and length have changed since 2019, risk management was still seen as the most effective claims avoidance tactic, while owner/contractor willingness to compromise was once again the top-ranked factor for the mitigation/early resolution of disputes.
"COVID-19 irrevocably changed every industry," said Roy Cooper, head of contract solutions for Arcadis North America. "Construction disputes experts will have to continue to adapt, even post-pandemic, as workforce expectations, climate events and government infrastructure funding change how projects are designed and contracted in the future."
The research presented in the report was compiled by Arcadis based on survey responses, global construction disputes the team handled in 2020 and contributions from industry experts.