Adkins Associates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Adkins Associates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Adkins Associates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

adkinsassociates.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | ADKINS ASSOCIATES
Managing Director
StephenAdkins
Sage Gateshead – a concert venue and centre
for musical education, located in Gateshead
on the south bank of the River Tyne
Seeking to combine his occupation with his work in the
church, Managing Director Stephen Adkins made the
decision to leave his role as a managing surveyor in favour
of pursuing conflict resolution in the construction industry.
Now, with over 30 years’ experience in the sector, the career
change has proven itself to be well justified. Stephen tells
TheParliamentary Review
about the value of the truth, the
impact of his faith and the importance of telling it “like it is”.
Winston Churchill once said: “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it.
Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.” He is also credited
as having said: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance
to get its pants on.” Having spent over 40 years in the construction industry, I have
found that when it all hits the fan and the truth is required, it can be hard to find.
Genesis
The existence of Adkins Associates is somewhat unusual in that it owes its genesis
to the Evangelical Church in the UK. Some 30 years ago, I left my employment as
the group managing surveyor of the Norwest Holst Group, now Vinci, and became
a sole trader offering dispute resolution management services to employers,
contractors and subcontractors alike. This allowed me to balance my secular
work with the voluntary work I was undertaking with churches in Milton Keynes,
Liverpool and Sheffield. I am certain that the voluntary work I undertake has
shaped my approach to my involvement in the world of dispute resolution.
FACTS ABOUT
ADKINS ASSOCIATES
»Managing Director:
StephenAdkins
»Founded in 2001
»Located across the country
»Services: Conflict resolution in
the construction industry
»No. of employees: 10
Adkins Associates
29ADKINS ASSOCIATES |
HOUSING
My responsibilities at Vinci included
the management of disputes within
group divisions. This experience was
key in quickly establishing myself,
not only with a continued role with
Vinci, but with other specialists –
solicitors, expert witnesses and the
like – engaged in construction industry
dispute resolution.
Ostensibly, the services I offered were
no different from my competitors,
be they sole traders or large
consultancies. However, I soon
realised that what gave me an edge
was my determination to “tell it as
it is” and my refusal to embroider
the truth, whether reporting to
clients or in preparing reports for
widerdistribution.
This approach has not been without
its challenges. However, advocating
an approach that works from a
foundation of truth to establish one’s
case has met with client approval and
an increase in appointments. This in
turn resulted in the need to expand
from a sole trader to the forming of a
close-knit team of other professionals
who shared the same approach to the
work we were undertaking.
In building the team, we have been
careful to engage those we are familiar
with or those who have come to us
early enough in their career for us
to influence them so as to ensure
the adoption of an approach that
mirrors the values of the senior team
members. Accordingly, those currently
serving at Adkins Associates, around
ten members in all, are considered a
band of brothers
sharing core values.
Adjudication, arbitration and
court proceedings
Team members have been engaged on
dispute resolution matters throughout
the UK and Ireland as well as having
been commissioned in relation to
disputes in Denmark, Norway, Finland,
the Middle East, the continent of
Africa and Singapore.
We have acted as experts in
adjudication, arbitration and
court proceedings. Such expert
appointments have related to matters
of both delay analysis and quantum.
We have also undertaken significant
works in mediations and in the support
of solicitors specialising in construction
disputes. In all these matters we
consider that the application of our
core values has contributed positively
to the successful outcomes we
haveachieved.
Phase 2 of the
Nottingham Express
Transit – a 32-kilometre-
long tram system in
Nottingham
I soon realised
that what gave
me an edge was
my
determination to
“tell it as it is”
and my refusal
to embroider the
truth, whether
reporting to
clients or in
preparing
reports for wider
distribution
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | ADKINS ASSOCIATES
Managing Director
StephenAdkins
Sage Gateshead – a concert venue and centre
for musical education, located in Gateshead
on the south bank of the River Tyne
Seeking to combine his occupation with his work in the
church, Managing Director Stephen Adkins made the
decision to leave his role as a managing surveyor in favour
of pursuing conflict resolution in the construction industry.
Now, with over 30 years’ experience in the sector, the career
change has proven itself to be well justified. Stephen tells
TheParliamentary Review
about the value of the truth, the
impact of his faith and the importance of telling it “like it is”.
Winston Churchill once said: “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it.
Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.” He is also credited
as having said: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance
to get its pants on.” Having spent over 40 years in the construction industry, I have
found that when it all hits the fan and the truth is required, it can be hard to find.
Genesis
The existence of Adkins Associates is somewhat unusual in that it owes its genesis
to the Evangelical Church in the UK. Some 30 years ago, I left my employment as
the group managing surveyor of the Norwest Holst Group, now Vinci, and became
a sole trader offering dispute resolution management services to employers,
contractors and subcontractors alike. This allowed me to balance my secular
work with the voluntary work I was undertaking with churches in Milton Keynes,
Liverpool and Sheffield. I am certain that the voluntary work I undertake has
shaped my approach to my involvement in the world of dispute resolution.
FACTS ABOUT
ADKINS ASSOCIATES
»Managing Director:
StephenAdkins
»Founded in 2001
»Located across the country
»Services: Conflict resolution in
the construction industry
»No. of employees: 10
Adkins Associates
29ADKINS ASSOCIATES |
HOUSING
My responsibilities at Vinci included
the management of disputes within
group divisions. This experience was
key in quickly establishing myself,
not only with a continued role with
Vinci, but with other specialists –
solicitors, expert witnesses and the
like – engaged in construction industry
dispute resolution.
Ostensibly, the services I offered were
no different from my competitors,
be they sole traders or large
consultancies. However, I soon
realised that what gave me an edge
was my determination to “tell it as
it is” and my refusal to embroider
the truth, whether reporting to
clients or in preparing reports for
widerdistribution.
This approach has not been without
its challenges. However, advocating
an approach that works from a
foundation of truth to establish one’s
case has met with client approval and
an increase in appointments. This in
turn resulted in the need to expand
from a sole trader to the forming of a
close-knit team of other professionals
who shared the same approach to the
work we were undertaking.
In building the team, we have been
careful to engage those we are familiar
with or those who have come to us
early enough in their career for us
to influence them so as to ensure
the adoption of an approach that
mirrors the values of the senior team
members. Accordingly, those currently
serving at Adkins Associates, around
ten members in all, are considered a
band of brothers
sharing core values.
Adjudication, arbitration and
court proceedings
Team members have been engaged on
dispute resolution matters throughout
the UK and Ireland as well as having
been commissioned in relation to
disputes in Denmark, Norway, Finland,
the Middle East, the continent of
Africa and Singapore.
We have acted as experts in
adjudication, arbitration and
court proceedings. Such expert
appointments have related to matters
of both delay analysis and quantum.
We have also undertaken significant
works in mediations and in the support
of solicitors specialising in construction
disputes. In all these matters we
consider that the application of our
core values has contributed positively
to the successful outcomes we
haveachieved.
Phase 2 of the
Nottingham Express
Transit – a 32-kilometre-
long tram system in
Nottingham
I soon realised
that what gave
me an edge was
my
determination to
“tell it as it is”
and my refusal
to embroider the
truth, whether
reporting to
clients or in
preparing
reports for wider
distribution
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | ADKINS ASSOCIATES
We have team members based across
the North of England, the Midlands
and the South West together with
central offices in London. However,
we have never found geography to
be an issue as we employ the latest
technology to facilitate the sharing and
storage of data together with online
communications and collaborative
working. The internet age and high-
speed broadband has made this
possible – quite a contrast to when I
first started in this industry.
Into the future
As we contemplate the future,
our number one commitment is
to excellence. We believe that we
have achieved high standards in
the commissions undertaken to
date, but we also recognise that
we are all capable of improvement.
We would like to engage with our
client base in this commitment to
excellence – enlisting their expertise
in reviewing and contributing to how
we as a consultancy can evolve in
order to meet their specific needs in
a manner that best suits their mode
ofoperation.
We would also like to encourage
our client base to join us in that
commitment. Criticism can be levelled
at those who
do the same thing over
and over again while expecting a
different result
. Without suggesting
that any of our clients are guilty
of such repeated actions, it is our
collective experience as a team that
the disputes we now are asked to
consider vary little from those we
have been involved in over the past
30years.
Accordingly, we have made it
our goal to focus our expertise
on dispute avoidance rather than
dispute resolution only. The value of
disputes in the construction industry,
according to some, continues at an
all-time high. Rather than being part
of an unnecessarily high dispute cost,
it is our aim to be part of a better-
educated process whereby disputes
are avoided or mitigated rather than
perpetuated, and at the very least
resolved sooner rather than later. Such
a goal will, of course, require those
who are encountering disputes to
engage with us far sooner than we
presentlyexperience.
We are pleased to confirm that there
is an appetite for such services in the
industry, and we are currently working
successfully with major construction
companies in providing dispute
avoidance services from inception to
completion of construction projects,
providing guidance and timely review
throughout the construction process.
As we
contemplate
the future, our
number one
commitment
is to
excellence
Party time – time out
for the band of brothers
with their partners
»CORE VALUES
Honesty – Provide the information our clients need to know rather
than what they would sometimes like to hear.
Integrity – Provide consistency between advice given, prospects
indicated, and service delivered to our clients.
Proportionality – Providing a service in a manner that reflects the
potential advantage available to our clients.
Our focus is not only the resolution of any given dispute but on
undertaking our work in a cost-efficient manner that reflects our
stated core values. We are committed to ensuring that our client’s fee
expenditure is proportionate to the prospects our client may have in
any given matter.

adkinsassociates.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Adkins Associates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development