Thomas & Adamson has won the inaugural MEED Editor’s Award for Special Achievement for its project, ‘The Founder’s Memorial’ in Abu Dhabi.

The “Constellation”, a memorial to the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was developed over a two-year period by Thomas & Adamson and unveiled to the public in April 2018 to coincide with the Year of Zayed, a 12-month series of events commemorating the centenary of his birth.

Recognised for its ‘originality and innovation’, Thomas & Adamson provided cost and project management consultancy services for the project’; a 30m-high 3D representation of Sheikh Zayed, originally designed by American sculptor and public artist Ralph Helmick. Housed within a 30m x 30m x 30m pavilion, the centrepiece of the memorial is a specially designed public artwork comprising 1,327 stainless steel geometric platonic solids, precisely arranged using 1,110 tensioned steel cables.

As one of the most prestigious projects the company has ever worked on, The Founder’s Memorial is intended to promote feelings of empathy and understanding of the late leader amongst Emiratis, expatriates and tourists visiting Abu Dhabi’s “must see” attractions, whilst safeguarding Sheikh Zayed’s vision and legacy for generations to come.

Les Banks, International Partner at Thomas & Adamson, said; “It’s been a great honour to be a part of such a significant project over the past four years, and to have the opportunity to be involved in the creation of a lasting monument to the Founding Father of the UAE. For this to be recognised by winning the first ever MEED Editor’s Award for Special Achievement is fantastic and testament to all our hard-working staff who have contributed to our success in the Middle East over the past 10 years.”

Richard Thompson, Editorial Director of MEED, added; “The MEED Editor’s Award for Special Achievement was awarded to Thomas & Adamson for a project that is so original and innovative, but which is so unusual that it defied our ability to judge in our regular criteria. In particular, the judges were impressed by the precision engineering and use of new digital technologies without which this project could not have been delivered. They were unanimous in their desire to make this special award.”

The accolade is the company’s second decoration for the project, having recently been awarded the best Social, Cultural and Heritage Project of the year award for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Thomas & Adamson, the international construction and property consultancy, has strengthened its senior management by promoting three key team members.

Heather Holbrook will take on the role of Regional Director within the company’s Cost Management division. With considerable experience working across both commercial and public sectors, Heather’s dedicated approach has seen her successfully deliver many complex projects.

In addition, John McGuinness is appointed to the role of Associate Director, Building Surveying. An important member of the Building Surveying team since May 2007 John provides expert input across all facets of Building Surveying, Quality Monitoring and Project Management. John has built a reputation for providing a unique blend of practical and professional advice.

To further support the continuing growth of Thomas & Adamson’s Building Surveying team, Greig Fenton also takes on the role of Associate Director, Building Surveying. Greig joined Thomas & Adamson in 2014 and has a broad range of expertise in construction projects. A dilapidations expert with extensive experience in project management, contract administration and traditional survey work, Greig is involved in a wide variety of projects in the retail, commercial and public sectors, acting on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

Alastair Wallace, Senior Partner at Thomas & Adamson, said; “These promotions reflect the hard work of Heather, Greig and John and the service excellence they provide to our clients. Recognising and rewarding talent like theirs is key to sustaining the consistent growth achieved at Thomas and Adamson over the last few years.”

All three take up their new roles with immediate effect.

Thomas & Adamson has UK offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, as well as global presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kiev and in the United States.

International construction and property consultancy, Thomas & Adamson, has sealed a sponsorship deal with Literally@Newbattle in support of the Festival of Words taking place on the 26th – 27th April 2019 at Newbattle Abbey College.

The festival, run by Newbattle Abbey College, Midlothian Council, Queen Margaret University and local writers’ groups, will focus on engaging with children, young people and families living in Midlothian through a two-day diverse programme. It will be the first time the local authority will have a literary festival despite being on the doorstep of the capital city, Edinburgh.

Brian Donaldson, Partner at Thomas & Adamson said: “Supporting Literally@Newbattle is both rewarding and important for our community outreach. We hope that the local community will embrace this initiative.”

“We hope our donation will raise awareness of just how important initiatives like this are in the community, and help people discover a true passion for reading. It’s the perfect escapism from the everyday grind.”

“Tickets for this event which will celebrate the spoken and written word (English, Scots and Gaelic), will be priced at a level which won’t be a barrier for local people to get involved. We hope that this initiative will be the first of many and enrich the local community in Midlothian” said Marian Docherty, Principal, Newbattle Abbey College.

The festival will feature a number of events which reach beyond the ‘typical’ literary festival and directly engage with people who are underrepresented in the literature and literary art sector.

Thomas & Adamson has UK offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, as well as global presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kiev and in the United States.

Natasha Kravchuk

When people talk about women in industry, a lot of the time the construction industry is earmarked as the last bastion of male domination. While that is historically partly true, in my experience it’s changing very quickly. When I started out there were hardly any women in the industry, but now they can be seen in every sector and discipline. I’ve worked in the industry for some 20 years now and in places such as the Middle East, where it would be easy to assume that women were viewed with less respect than their male counterparts.  This was not my own personal experience however and in fact I found that in many of the GCC countries, there was no difference in attitudes towards women or men.

I am often asked why I chose a career in project management. Construction is a fast paced, dynamic and exciting industry with numerous diverse opportunities for anyone to develop as a professional. It is also very rewarding as you can see the fruits of your labour materializing in new objects that you help to create and deliver. An opportunity to leave your mark on this planet. The boundaries between male and female professionals and their ability to progress are becoming more blurred and I think the construction and property industry is a great choice for any aspiring female professional. And I find it inspiring to see young apprentices like Claire Green, who joined Thomson & Adamson when she was 16, making a career choice studying to be a quantity surveyor.

One of the reasons I’ve stayed with Thomson & Adamson for so long is their culture and attitude towards staff. As a company, we don’t think in terms of gender or race, we look at the best talent that is out there.

There is much made in the wider business community about gender pay inequality. That has never been an issue with T&A. It’s simple – we recognise that people should be paid equally for the job they do based on ability alone. Perhaps the answer for business in general is to put more women in positions where they are able to better influence these things?

We’ll continue to champion a multi-cultural working environment, employ and provide opportunity for people regardless of their gender, colour, nationality, creed or physical ability.

As for why women are proving so successful in construction, perhaps it’s because they are better at multi-tasking, which is certainly a real asset in the world of project management!Natasha Kravchuk

By Greig Fenton, Senior Building Surveyor

Dilapidations and Schedules of Dilapidations in commercial leases can be a somewhat contentious issue, often resulting in disputes and serious financial implications for Tenants and Landlords alike. Referring to the condition or disrepair of a commercial property at the end of a lease, Tenants often fail to appreciate the extent of their obligations and accordingly do not allow sufficient financial provisions for this potentially-significant liability. Cost levels can further escalate if the Landlord’s claim involve a loss of rent covering the period required to carry out the reversion works.

With increasing economic challenges, the last thing a business wants is to be tied into onerous repairing obligations as part of a lease agreement.  It’s important therefore that Tenants take steps to limit their dilapidations liabilities at the commencement of a lease or, at the very least, to fully comprehend the notion and significance of the dilapidations process.


Top Tips for Dilapidations

There are some practical steps that tenants can take to limit dilapidations liability. For example, in initial negotiations for a new lease, particularly with short leases, the Tenant may insist – as an alternative to accepting full repairing and insuring liability – that the repairing liability be restricted to leaving the building in no worse condition than at the start of the lease.

In lease terminology, the word repair can include a liability to renew where, for example, a building element is in such a condition that replacement is the only practical option. In order to limit repairing liability a Chartered Building Surveyor should be instructed by the tenant to produce a Photographic Schedule of Condition, recording the subject’s general condition and any pre-existing items of disrepair.

These precautions are also very relevant in situations where a new tenant takes on the obligations of an existing tenant. Here, any alterations and instances of disrepair must be reviewed carefully by the Tenant when considering the purchase (assignment) of another Tenant’s lease.

If breaches of lease or unlicensed alterations are identified prior to the assignment of the lease, the new Tenant may be in a position to negotiate a reverse premium from the outgoing Tenant.


Professional Help in Dilapidations Matters

Landlords and Tenants will almost certainly need professional assistance, ideally from a Chartered Building Surveyor, when dealing with these matters. The appointment of an experienced dilapidations surveyor takes on further significance in instances where disputes arise.  In the case of the Landlord, schedules must be accurate and able to withstand legal scrutiny. In the case of the Tenant, the acting advisor needs to determine:

  1. Is the Schedule of Dilapidations accurate?
  2. Is the standard of repair required by the Schedule of Dilapidations justified?
  3. Are there any appropriate statutory reliefs which may be applied?
  4. Should the Tenant organise repair works prior to lease expiry, or would it be preferable to pay damages in lieu of reversion works?

Through our Building Surveying division, we have undertaken a large number of instructions to provide strategic dilapidations advice to a wide variety of Clients across many sectors .  As part of this service, our team will review the lease, highlight obligations of repair, and thereafter compile a Schedule of Dilapidations (when acting on behalf of the Landlord), or provide an appropriate response to a previously issued Landlord’s schedule (when acting on behalf of the Tenant).

The aim of this service is to:

  • If client is Tenant – minimise the cost of the Tenant’s dilapidations liabilities
  • If client is Landlord – ensure maximum settlement is achieved based on lease obligations

Thinking ahead in this way means that any necessary works can be planned, or more amicable negotiations conducted.

If you would like to discuss further, please contact

International construction and property consultancy, Thomas & Adamson, is sweeping into 2019 by partnering with British Curling squad Team Paterson.

The sponsorship deal will support the team in their quest for Olympic Gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, and strengthens T&A’s commitment to curling and supporting Scottish talent.

Zander Muego, Partner at Thomas & Adamson said: “We’re incredibly proud to be able to support Team Paterson, particularly at this exciting time as they train towards the Winter Olympics. Given the years of training it takes to reach Olympic-level status, it’s great to have our name aligned with them at this stage.

“The popularity of curling in recent years has increased significantly, and we hope our sponsorship will enable Team Paterson to continue representing Scotland at the highest international level. To be able to support a team with this level of talent goes hand in hand with our company’s ethos in inspiring, motivating and developing talent, and we wish the team the best of luck and look forward to being a part of their journey.”

Ross Paterson added: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Thomas & Adamson going into this Olympic cycle. We’re very grateful for the support we receive which plays a big part in us pursuing our dreams and playing the sport we love.”

Thomas & Adamson has UK offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, as well as global presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kiev and in the United States.

International construction and property consultancy, Thomas & Adamson, has appointed Ross Carlow as Regional Director to drive the company’s ambitious growth plans in the Middle East market.

Carlow brings a wealth of experience and strategic leadership skills to the business, having spent over 11 years in the UAE. His experience includes working with some of the UAE’s leading property developers, in addition to time spent in consultancy and housebuilding in Austalia and the UK respectively. In his role as Regional Director, he will be responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s business strategy and expansion plans in the region.

The appointment reinforces the company’s commitment to the Middle East and the UAE market in particular, as they celebrate a decade in Abu Dhabi and five years since setting up base in Dubai.

Les Banks, International Partner at Thomas & Adamson said: “Ross’s appointment adds further strength to our management team as we continue to drive expansion in the Middle East, and increase our service offering to the clients we serve.

“His track record, connections and intimate knowledge of the construction industry will undoubtedly bolster our international offering and add great value to our clients and their projects. I have no doubt his energy and drive will significantly help support the next stages of our ambitious growth plans, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.”

Carlow added: “I am delighted to be joining Thomas & Adamson in what marks an exciting year and significant milestone for the business in the Middle East. Thomas & Adamson have a strong reputation in the region and have successfully delivered a number of prestigious projects over the years with a clear focus on providing a high standard of service and ensuring best value is achieved for their clients. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the Middle East business and delivering the strategy and vision Thomas & Adamson have for the region moving forward.”

In recent years, Thomas and Adamson has experienced a string of new contract wins, which includes the project management and cost consulancy of the first phase of a five-year redevelopment of the Al Wathba Prison and strategic advisory and cost management for the Crown Prince Court’s activities on the UAE’s 47th National Day last month.