NI: Carson McDowell becomes legal patron of the NI construction industry

NI: Carson McDowell becomes legal patron of the NI construction industry

Belfast firm Carson McDowell has become the official legal patron of the construction industry in Northern Ireland, the Construction Employers Federation (CEF) has announced.

Carson McDowell has signed up to the CEF Patronage Scheme, which sees organisations from a range of sectors come together to support the construction industry by providing specialist expertise and guidance to CEF members across Northern Ireland.

Stuart Murphy, construction partner at the firm, said: “As a firm that works extensively with the construction sector in Northern Ireland, Carson McDowell felt it was important to continue to show our support for the industry by becoming legal patron of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF) NI.

“There are a number of big issues facing the sector as it returns to health. The local industry is recovering at a slower pace than in Great Britain and a large proportion of firms here are dependent on projects from across the water because of a dearth of work in Northern Ireland since the recession. That in turn has created a skills gap after many experienced people left the industry.

“But there are also some big challenges around the corner from changes to legislation which construction companies must be ready for if they don’t want to be hit by additional costs. For example, firms will have to prepare for new Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations likely to come in to force later this year that revise the rules relating to the health and safety of construction projects.

“This month also sees new Building Information Modelling (BIM) requirements to be introduced for public sector projects, which is likely to create an increased IT requirement to meet the digital modelling specifications for construction projects.

“Whether it is health & safety, planning, procurement, environmental concerns, complex contracts or employment issues, the legal aspects of construction are numerous and varied. Carson McDowell will continue to work with local construction firms of all sizes to ensure they are able to compete both at home and abroad.”

John Armstrong, managing director at CEF, added: “For many years the CEF has partnered with Carson McDowell to deliver expert legal advice and support to construction companies across Northern Ireland. We are absolutely delighted that, as our latest Patron, Carson McDowell has agreed to continue and indeed further develop our links.

“As the local construction industry continues to emerge from what have been some of the toughest times it has ever faced, it is crucial that the industry can call upon support and expert advice from advisors like Carson McDowell who truly understand the sector.

“As we look forward to the formation of the next Northern Ireland Executive post May’s election, It is essential to have an effective organisation like CEF to be ‘the voice of the construction industry’ and I am very confident that our voice will only be made stronger by Carson McDowell and our other industry patrons.”

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