#WiseUpWednesday: Don’t Fall Foul Of Poor QS’s

“…alarm over quality of new QS’s”

This is a recent headline from Construction Enquirer which caught my eye, because it’s bemoaning the poor quality of new entry QS’s in the industry.

Now I can remember a time when being a QS was a very respected profession and attracted high calibre entrants. Unfortunately, things have been on the slide for a good many years. And this is bound to impact on the QS’s employed by Main Contractors.

How Does This Affect You?

You might think that if the Contractor’s QS isn’t very good it will make life easier for you. But, you would be wrong.

The fact of the matter is that a poor QS will make your life much more difficult and here’s why;

  • they prepare poor quality contract documents – rarely to your benefit
  • they can’t make decisions – this causes delay
  • they make bad decisions – and cover them up / pay with your money
  • they hide their incompetence behind arrogance – causing frustration
  • they don’t have a clue about fairness and objectivity – you suffer

What Can You Do About It?

Many disagreements and disputes can be avoided by getting the paperwork right in the first place. So making sure that everyone has a common understanding of what is expected of them is key..

Adopting the following approach can help:


1. Record all pre-contract negotiations and confirm everything in writing and/or email;

2. Make sure all the important details are properly incorporated in the contract and that it exactly reflects what has been agreed;

3. Agree on any standard terms and conditions to be used and negotiate out any onerous clauses;


4. Don’t agree to anything you don’t understand and if you need to, don’t be shy about getting advice on your contract documentation.

5. Make sure you follow the procedures set out in the contract – don’t ignore them…

6. If your account is being undervalued escalate the problem to a higher level

7. Don’t waste time trying to persuade someone who doesn’t want to understand

8. Recognise when it’s time to change your approach – don’t just wait for things to change on their own – they won’t

And if you aren’t sure please call us for advice on 01773 712116 or email info@streetwisesubbie.com or checkout our web site.

Strength In Numbers

There is a lot of truth in the old adage about “strength in numbers”. Specialist Contractors need to stick together, so please share this email with every other Subbie you know, and come and join our LinkedIn group of over 2,000 Specialist Contractors. Even if you are not on LinkedIn we can set it up for you for free and it’s a great place to share knowledge and information.

Just email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com.


What If Problems Arise?


Construction is a contentious business, so it’s no surprise that problems can arise, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.


This can be stressful and have a negative impact on your business.


So,if you find yourself in a sticky situation, the best advice is to act quickly and to take appropriate advice. We have decades of experience in contractual and commercial matters and will give you no-nonsense, practical advice that won’t blind you with legal jargon.


About Barry Ashmore

Qualifications Dip Law Dip Arb FClArb MCMi Year of Birth: 1954 Specialist Contractors Champion! • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Panel Adjudicator • CEDR Accredited Mediator • Construction Contracts Consultant • M&E Specialist QS An experienced professional with an extensive range of commercial managerial and contractual expertise. Been in the construction industry all my working life. Started as am apprentice electrician at 16, worked my way up, estimator, engineer, contracts manager, general manager. Moved into dispute resolution in 1990! Worked for the biggest and then the best James R Knowles. Now heads up Ashmore Consulting, and most importantly StreetwiseSubbie.com Ltd. Extensive experience working at Director level, project managing, advising and acting on behalf of clients in matters relating to the resolution of disputes by way of negotiation, mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation. Straightforward advice given to clients, and wherever possible assisting clients to resolve disputes by negotiation, and avoid formal process. Style; can be as forceful as necessary when advocating, can use mediation skills to create the best possible prospects of a successful deal in an atmosphere of calm, positive determination - either way I'm focused on achieving the best possible solution for you. Barry can be contacted on 01773 715062 or 07815 193718 Email: barry@streetwisesubbie.com Web: streetwisesubbie.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s