With over 100 years of combined experience, Adair’s highly qualified and diverse Dispute Resolution team has the knowledge and understanding of the construction industry to provide services on a wide array of construction disputes.

We offer a full range of services for the complete and successful resolution of a dispute including:

• Quantum Expert Witness
• Forensic Delay Expert Witness
• Claims preparation and defence
• Contractual Advice
• Adjudication
• Arbitration
• Mediation
• Litigation

We are regularly instructed to provide Independent Expert opinion on the quantum of a dispute on behalf of either the claiming or defending party or as a joint independent expert acting for both parties. We are fully equipped to be instructed during the process of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceedings and maintain the capacity to begin Adjudications with minimal notice, providing our expert services for either referring or responding party’s.

Our Dispute Resolution service can go over and above the preparation of reports and cost schedules with senior members having the skills, experience and knowledge to take part in mediation negotiations or attending court days to provide evidence.

“In terms of Justin

1. We instruct him on a number of cases worth several million (or tens of millions) of pounds. He is our “go to” QS for high value and complex litigation, but also on urgent matters (such as adjudications that required a consistently high level of service;

2. His report writing is first class and he has an excellent appreciation of his role, function and duties.  I have not seen him cross-examined because none of our cases have reached that point, but I understand that he has good experienced in the box; and

3. He has a great team around him, so we always know that he will deliver to urgent deadlines.

In short, Justin is excellent.  I could not recommend him highly enough.”

Lee Cooper
Senior Associate
for Kennedys
Justin Sullivan, Founder & CEO
Mark Borge, Director, Head of Dispute Resolution
Simon Sutcliffe, Associate Director
James Crampsie, Quantity Surveyor & Dispute Resolution
Adam Scholfield, Quantity Surveyor & Dispute Resolution
Michael Sullivan, Dispute Resolution Assistant

Studying through university is a route many individuals take however, this can be very costly and does not guarantee a job after graduating. Therefore, apprenticeships are an effective way of gaining first-hand work experience, boosting industry knowledge and learning skills whilst earning a salary. An individual taking on an apprenticeship will gain a network of professionals and the opportunity to progress in their career.

Surveying apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular for young adults interested in the construction industry and building their knowledge and experience.

The benefits of a surveying apprenticeship include:

  • Earn a salary while you study – with no student loan and no tuition fees.
  • Gain an industry-recognised qualification that can be used around the world.
  • Learn skills on the job, rather than in the classroom, and start to build your professional network.
  • Open the door to a diverse and exciting range of surveying careers.

“I completed an apprenticeship to become a quantity surveyor in 2019 and found it was a great opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand experience whilst studying. I believe the combination of learning the theory alongside putting it into practical use helped to enhance my learning and improve my understanding, which in turn helped me to achieve the grades I wanted. This route also allows you to become a valued member of your team and access a whole source of knowledge and expertise, that is your colleagues, which would otherwise be inaccessible”

Leanne Smith, Quantity Surveyor at Adair

Useful links to finding an apprenticeship:

During construction, the lender will require the project monitor to monitor the progress of the construction and to report any significant delays which occur that could affect the planned completion date. The points below offer additional factors to demonstrate the value a project monitor can bring to a project:  

  • Independence – The borrower’s consultants will have produced numbers and timescales under the employment of the borrower, so these numbers and programmes may have been influenced by the borrower to be lower, in terms of costs and shorter in terms of the program, than the realistic cost and timeframe of the project. In the same way a lender will get an independent view on the valuation, he should also get an independent view of the costs and programme. 
  • Second pair of eyes – A project monitor will provide the lender and the borrower with a second view of the costs and double check all the information. 
  • Experience – It is important that the project monitor is an experienced consultant and is able to apply realistic experience to his ‘gut feeling’ of the scale of costs.  
  • Assistance – Due to the amount of experience a project monitor has, there are very few situations which occur in the life of a project that a project monitor has not seen before. Project monitors can apply this experience to help the borrower when awkward situations arrive. 
  • Working with the lender’s other key appointments as a team – The lawyer and valuer will require the project monitor’s input to provide the right advice to the lender.  

At Adair, the project monitoring team has extensive experience of monitoring developments, from modest loans to large-scale development projects across both residential and commercial sectors. If you need assistance, please contact us at or contact Richard Payne, Director Project Monitoring at  | Mobile: + 44 (0) 7810 623479  

Development costs do not compare well, if at all, with the costs of reinstatement following for example, a serious fire. There are many factors which make reinstatement costs higher including:​

  • The need to commence works urgently
  • The timescales involved when residents are rendered homeless​
  • Demolition / temporary support and protection and propping adjacent buildings​
  • Changed surroundings due to the passage of time​
  • Addition of features e.g. outbuildings post-development​
  • Additional site access costs​
  • Less efficient work programming requirements​
  • The differing profile of professional fees​

Also, developers will construct the development of property in the most efficient way for example:

  • Building from the middle of the site outwards or from one edge to another. ​
  • There can be further access complications of bringing the same plant onto site when it comes to re-instatement.
  • Additional buildings may have been erected since the property was constructed, making access significantly more difficult.

For more information or if you require a Reinstatement Cost Assessment, please contact: Adam Sukhon – Head of Reinstatement Cost Assessments |

The topic for this event was ‘Spotting common risks in property development and how lenders can protect themselves’ where the panel discussed which development projects are more prone to problems and how this impacts lender appetite, as well as how to identify and resolve these early on.  

Richard Payne, Director, Project Monitoring headed the discussion along side the panel of experts: Rachel Titley, Head of Midlands office & Associate Director, Adair, Andrew Evans, Head of Lending Services, Victoria Mutual Finance Ltd, Tom Alexander, Director, Aukett Swanke, Jason Green, Chief Executive Officer, Halsbury Homes and Benjamin Philips, Head of Property Lending, Alpha Property Lending.

If you would like to listen to the engaging, lively discussion, the full roundtable recording can be viewed below:

Practical steps on retention recovery:

1) The first action is to check the contract, when is the retention due to be paid?
2) Are there any actions that need to be taken, such as making a formal application to a specific person.
3) Is there any specific defects which prevent payment of the retention?
4) Is there a reason why the contractor or client hasn’t paid the retention?
5) If the client hasn’t provided a reason behind the prevention of payment and the contract has been complied with in respect of retention recovery, then the retention recovery process can commence.

The retention recovery service process is based on a three stage approach. The stages are:

  1. Initial notice.
  2. Notice of intention to adjudicate.
  3. Adjudication.

Stage 1 Initial notice

The initial notice is a pre-adjudication notice issued to the company secretary of the withholding party. Stating that Adair has been employed to recover the retention, the basis of the retention recovery and setting a time limit for the withholding party to respond, if a response is not received Adair will commence adjudication on the client’s behalf.

There are three potential outcomes to this notice, these are:

  • Pay the outstanding retention.
  • Ignore.
  • Dispute.

If the retention is paid then the process is complete. If the notice is ignored, then we move to stage two the notice of adjudication. If the release is disputed, then Adair will check the basis of the dispute and advise the client accordingly.

The dispute should be sanity and risk checked, if the dispute is not valid then Adair will advise escalating to stage two, the notice of adjudication. If the dispute is valid then Adair will advise not to pursue the retention release.

At this stage a financial health check of the paying party should be carried out, a check of a Dunn and Bradstreet (or similar report) and a check for any current litigation.

The initial notice is a form letter which will take approximately half an hour to complete.

The proposed price for stage 1 is £245, which is for the preparation of the initial notice and to sanity check and advise if the notice is disputed.

Stage 2 Notice of intention to adjudicate

The second stage is for use when the initial notice is either ignored or disputed. If the notice is ignored or disputed and the basis of the dispute is not valid, then a notice of referral is prepared. If it is possible under the contract, UK Adjudicators is proposed as the nominating body. UK Adjudicators do not charge a nomination fee.

The potential outcomes after issuing the notice to adjudicate are:

  • Payment of the outstanding retention.
  • Dispute.

If the outstanding retention is paid, then the issue is closed. If the retention is disputed, then the dispute is sanity checked and the client advised to either proceed or withdraw.

The proposed price for the second stage is £700 which is based on four hours. This includes a sanity check of any dispute.

Stage 3 Adjudication

The dispute phase is started only if it is apparent that the defence raised by the paying party in the dispute is not valid. The points raised by the paying party will be checked and incorporated into the adjudication referral document.

The parameters of the adjudication should be agreed and set out with the client prior to the issuing of any referral notice. The basis of the referral may change with the paying party’s documentation issued and evolve into a new dispute. If this happens the original notice should be withdrawn and a new notice of intention issued.

The adjudication stage is proposed at £3,500 which is based on 20 hours.

If require any help relating to the retention recovery service process, please email in the Dispute Resolution team or contact us via 

Q.  What is a building reinstatement cost assessment? 

Reinstatement Cost Assessment (RCA) is the basis adopted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for undertaking an appraisal of property, and plant and machinery/contents for insurance purposes. 

Q. What is a reinstatement cost? 

The reinstatement cost of your property is how much it would cost to completely rebuild the property if it were totally destroyed, for example by fire. It is not the same as the value of your home and covers the cost of materials and labour. Reinstatement costs are for an accurate reconstruction of a property. 

Q. Why are RCA’s required? 

  • To ensure buildings / estate are adequately insured in the event of a claim 
  • To avoid over insurance eg based on capital value 
  • To avoid distortion through index linking 
  • To comply with the lease and best practice 

Q. What does reinstatement of a property mean? 

Reinstating a property means rebuilding it to its original condition. In doing so, all efforts will be made to ensure that the same construction methods and materials are used as before. 

Q. How often should an RCA be conducted? 

The RICS recommends that full RCA’s are carried out every three years although updated RCAs should be undertaken whenever there are significant changes to the buildings, or investment/downsizing in the plant and machinery/contents. 

Q. Who will carry out the RCA? 

The RCA should ideally be carried out by a Chartered Quantity Surveyor. 

Q. What information is needed for an RCA to be completed? 

When undertaking an initial RCA, an accurate address and permission to access all areas of a property are required. Scalable plans may also be required in addition to Health and Safety documentation and any other relevant information (previous RCAs, schedule of condition, schedule of areas). 

Q.  What is the final reinstatement cost calculated on? 

The final Reinstatement Cost calculation will take into account the building’s size, age, construction, location and associated services and utilities. 

Q.  What is the difference between Buildings Declared Value (BDV) and Buildings Sum Insured (BSI)?

The BDV is the value of the property, the bricks and mortar: everything that is fixed to the property including fitted kitchens and bathrooms. It does not take into consideration the value of the land or the desirability of the area. It is simply the rebuild cost. The Sum Insured figure is always higher than the BDV to cover you against the rise in building materials or inflation over the period of insurance.

If you have further questions or require a Reinstatement Cost Assessment, please contact: Adam Sukhon – Head of Reinstatement Cost Assessments |

What is the Condition of Average clause?

The condition of average clause is used in every insurance policy to protect not only property owners assets but also the insurance company and their customers. If a property owner has only paid part of the premium it means they will not receive a full insurance payment.

How does it work?

The average clause is applied when an insurance company has found a property owners insurance-value sum to be incorrect against their own valuation. It is in a property owners interest to investigate the terms of their policy as the value can vary significantly.

For example, many property owners will believe they have sufficient insurance cover if damages to their property have repairs costing £100,000 but their buildings total declared reinstatement insurance value is £1 million. However, if the insurance company determine the actual cost of rebuilding the property is £1.2 million, they have the right to claim there is inadequate cover in place and reduce the claim via a ‘condition of average clause’. This means the claim will be reduced by the same proportion as the amount ‘under’ insurance.

If a buildings Reinstatement Insurance Assessment is out of date or is reliant on historic data, reductions in the pay-out of claims can be as much as 50% which can have dreadful effects on property owners across the UK.

Therefore, it is crucial for property owners to ensure they have a Reinstatement Cost Assessment completed at least every 3 years to guarantee their asset is insured correctly. If you are in need of a Reinstatement Cost Assessment please get in contact with:

Adam Sukhon– Head of Reinstatement Cost Assessments |

+44 (0)7809 678 387

Underinsuring a property asset has significant financial implications for a property owner. If the reinstatement figure is calculated inaccurately or has not been updated regularly every three years, there will be insufficient monies to rebuild the property.

10 Top Tips To Avoid Underinsuring a property asset

  1. Have a full assessment done by a Chartered Quantity Surveyor to find out the correct reinstatement value of the estate/building at least every 3 years (as recommended by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
  2. Make the insurer aware of any changes made to the estate/building such as an extension, any improvements or replacements or indeed business changes, for example new machinery or technology in the building.
  3. Make sure the insurance cover is based on what it would cost to rebuild the estate/building not what the market value of the estate/building currently is.
  4. If a property is a listed building and/or in a conservation area, it will require special consideration. The time and cost of the repairs/rebuilds are likely to be far greater.
  5. Make the insurer aware of all the assets the estate/building has in order to ensure everything is fully covered.
  6. Remember to factor in the cost of professional fees such as for Consultants,  Architects, Surveyors or Structural Engineers in the event of a loss.
  7. Following the updated Brexit rules it is important to be aware of the impact of currency fluctuations and the affect it has on your sum insured.
  8. Check the VAT status as some building’s reinstatement might attract VAT whiles others might not and the position can vary.
  9. Insure everything: Contents should be insured for their new replacement value and the value should be sufficient to cover all of the contents.
  10. Ensure an understanding of the ‘average clause’ which is where a declared value is deemed to be under assessed and the claim amount is reduced by the same ratio.

For further information and expert advice please contact: Adam Sukhon, Head of Reinstatement Cost Assessments at or call + 44 (0)7809 678 387.

Reinstatement Cost Assessments are an important part of property ownership, as over or under-insuring your asset can result in significant issues. Adair is offering a service where we enable clients to better protect their property assets by providing expert cost assessments using industry recognized, full, transparent and accurate evaluations of rebuilding costs in the event of destruction.

We also ensure that you do not pay too much if your property has been over insured historically. You will be supported by combining our real time market awareness and construction experience with established cost assessment methods and databases. For expert advice contact: Adam Sukhon – Head of Reinstatement Cost Assessments | |+ 44 (0)7809 678 387 or find out more by clicking on the link:

Following the latest Government announcement, we confirm that business will continue as usual. Adair will continue to follow all the official guidelines put in place to ensure our team, suppliers and clients are kept safe to support the NHS and the national effort to manage and beat the outbreak of Covid-19.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual contact in the Adair team. Or if you would like to find out more about our services or discuss any project requirements, please contact us at

Thank you for your continued support and please stay safe.