JCT Interviews…David King

In the JCT Interviews… series we shine the spotlight on some of the key people who are involved with or give their time to support JCT, showing the diverse range of disciplines across the construction industry that our members represent and the collaborative work that contributes to the development of our contracts. We look at how our interviewees contribute to JCT specifically and gain their views on the wider industry and JCT’s role within it.


David King
Member, JCT Council
RIBA representative

Current job title and company/position: Expert Witness / Technical Director, HKA Global

 Bio: David King is a chartered architect with 40 years’ experience throughout the design and construction process. His legacy of projects includes several building design awards. He has led and managed large-scale and complex undertakings in a wide range of sectors and building types, with a particular interest in materials technology, research, and the environmental performance of buildings – focused primarily on the building envelope.

Formerly a member Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum’s world-wide Technical Board, and a director at HOK’s London office, David had overall responsibility for office strategy in digital information management (BIM), the Integrated Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001), and BREEAM/LEED, EA/DDA, CDM compliance. David was responsible for projects in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, using a wide range of contract forms, from JCT and NEC to FIDIC and bespoke. On leaving HOK, he joined Probyn Miers/HKA to invest his experience in dispute resolution and expert witness work.

JCT: David, how did you first come to be involved with JCT? As a new member of Council, why do you think it is important to be involved?

As a newly qualified architect, I represented the Junior Liaison Organisation for 2 years at meetings of the NJCC Good Practice Panel, with a view to understanding the perspective of other members of the design and construction team. In later years I became a member of the RIBA Large Practice Group and RIBA International Committee, and I remain a member of the CIC Liability Panel and CIC Digital Forum. I became involved with the JCT when Chris Miers (former JCT Council member) announced he was retiring from practice and resigned from JCT Council.

JCT: Are there any specific projects, areas of interest or activities that you are looking forward to working on or being involved with as a JCT Council member?

I am particularly interested in how the construction industry is evolving to meet the challenges of working with digital information, and the future possibilities of Integrated Project Delivery as an alternative approach to project procurement.

JCT: Do you have any personal career highlights?

Much of my early career was spent in conservation work and re-purposing existing buildings – the highlight being the refurbishment of Marlborough House (by Christopher Wren) for the Commonwealth Secretariat. In later years, I worked principally in healthcare and medical research, delivering first the PFI redevelopment of St Barts and The Royal London Hospital (completed 2010), and then the new Francis Crick Institute (completed 2016) as a joint venture between the MRC, CRUK, UCL, Welcome Trust, King’s College and Imperial College.

JCT: What are you most proud of about the construction industry as a whole and where do you think it most needs to improve?

When the diverse stakeholders come together as a team, the construction industry can produce ground-breaking innovation and buildings that inspire world-wide acclaim. Unfortunately, much time and energy is still wasted in an adversarial approach to procurement – we can do better than this, and should do so more often.

JCT: What do you see as the main challenges for the construction industry over the next five years?

Designers, consultants, and contractors have led the way in embracing 3D & 4D modelling as a way of reducing the time lost on site from incomplete and poorly coordinated information, but more substantive progress will continue to elude us until we succeed in bringing all parties to the table (including clients) and start to fully realise the benefits available from properly integrated interoperable digital data.

JCT: Does JCT have a wider role to play in the industry beyond producing contracts?

JCT has developed contract forms that facilitate the use of BIM. But BIM is not just about 3D modelling, it’s about collaboration – sharing interoperable data in the interests of the project more so than the interests of any one party. I think the opportunity exists for JCT to play a central role in the development of collaborative opportunities.