JCT: Tell us a bit about your background; what is your current role, and why did you decide on a career in the construction industry?
I am a senior associate at CMS, specialising in construction, energy and infrastructure disputes. I advise clients in all sectors from project advisory through to formal dispute resolution forums like court, arbitration and adjudication.
I qualified in 2015, have a LLB and LLM from Edinburgh University, am accredited in Construction Law by the Law Society of Scotland and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
I have always found construction sites fascinating, the way they operate and how they manage to build such amazing structures, especially when the site is remote or involves off-shore developments. When the opportunity to participate in the construction elective on the Diploma (the post-grad year after the LLB) arose, I couldn’t think of a better area of law to get into. The elective also confirmed I was a disputes lawyer as it gave me my first taste of adjudication.
JCT: Kate, how did you first come to be involved with JCT’s Young Professionals Group? Why do you think it is important to be involved with the new focus group?
I was introduced to the JCT’s Young Professionals Group by a colleague who heard about it at an event.
It is important for young professionals to have a place where they can interact, network and learn more about other parts of the industry.
JCT: Can you tell us about any specific work you’re currently doing that has any association to JCT and its contracts?
JCT is one of the most commonly used standard form contracts so I have seen it in one form or another in a number of domestic disputes.
JCT: Do you have any personal career highlights so far?
I participated in the TeCSA Marshalling Scheme, shadowing TCC judges and seeing them from the other side of the bench. On my final day in the scheme I attended a drinks reception with all the judges which for me would be like being at the Oscars.
JCT: What are you most proud of about the construction industry as a whole?
The industry’s resilience. It has been proven that the construction industry can weather a lot of difficult situations, most recently shown through the COVID-19 pandemic.
JCT: What do you see as the main challenges for the construction industry over the next five years?
The UK is in a very turbulent period right now but the main things I think which will continue to affect the industry for the next five years are inflation and workforce shortages.
JCT: Does JCT and the Young Professionals Group have a wider role to play in the industry beyond producing contracts?
Yes, it is a great place for people building up their network of contacts at a similar level.