Edward McCluskey is the Director – Specialist Services, EMEA at Soben. He has a strong interest in law, MEPH, large scale infrastructure projects and energy. From the UK to Middle East, here is his eclectic career journey.
Tell us about your career journey to date
So, I actually have a big law and construction background, but in a nutshell, I’m a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) and Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb).
I’ve worked in the UK, US, Middle East, and Far East. I was the youngest arbitrator to be appointed by Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) in 2007. I’m really proud of this!
Since my first DIAC appointment, I’ve received over 40 appointments which have varied in value and nature. I’ve successfully completed the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Mediation Course and also Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) mediation course to become a CEDR and RICS accredited mediator.
I completed a Scots Law LLB. In addition to having a post-graduate Diploma in Law (England & Wales) and have a master’s in construction law. I’ve undertaken pro bono work by assisting John Sturrock KC in two complex mediations.
Most of my accomplishments were completed whilst I was working, particularly when I was building a career for myself. Which started as a Project QS, working up to a Senior QS, before becoming a Partner and now Director at Soben. I’ve been at Soben for over a year now and it’s been an exciting time. My role is to help develop the provision of MEPH and consultancy services to clients both old and new and it’s been an amazing opportunity to play a key part in growing and expanding Soben.
You’ve worked on many projects over the years – which stand out for you?
I’ve been privileged enough to have worked on a lot of fantastic projects, but the first that stands out to me is working on HS2, in particular Euston and Old Oak Common. We completed the MEP cost plans, amongst other packages, with our award-winning Bills of Quantities. Upon completion, of the HS2 projects these will make a significant difference to commuters. Euston will have double the number of seats out of Euston station during peak hours and free up capacity on the West Coast Mainline for more local and long-distance commuter services to places like Watford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. I’m super proud to have been involved in this project from the beginning and continue to be onboard until completion. The HS2 stations form part of the last big regeneration in central London, spanning 60 acres. This is a unique opportunity to be a part of and I’m grateful to be a part of it. For Old Oak Common, Soben worked with JV partners through all aspects of the pre-construction scheme providing detailed bills of quantities and estimating across all aspects of Contract Sum Analysis (CSA) and Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing & Heating (MEPH).
The second project would be the Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) in Abu Dhabi. During this healthcare project I was the Commercial Director and headed up a team of lawyers, expert witnesses and some complex legal matters. However, we got such a successful result from it. This was a 745-bed healthcare facility, and I managed the appointment of external consultants and legal counsel, setting terms of reference for each. A one-of-a-kind opportunity!
I’ve also worked on Jersey Hospital; we produced Bills of Quantities on behalf of a contractor for 5 main buildings. The Hospital Project consisted of 5 main buildings including the Main Hospital Building; a Mental Health Building; a knowledge Centre; a Multi-Deck Carpark; an Energy Centre; all with extensive external works and access roads.
What has been your favourite project you’ve worked on, and why?
One of my favourite projects has been an Oil & Gas project I worked on behalf of Shell UAE. I was appointed to provide expert opinions on quantum matters for recovery of costs from the local government, as well as being an expert witness in an Oil & Gas claim concerning pipe runs. It was my favourite mainly because I got to be involved in such a huge project.
What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on, and why?
I would probably have to go back to the Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) project in Abu Dhabi. There was a commercial responsibility for a joint venture of three contracting companies, which included management and drafting of an AED 1.5 billion claim for submission for an extension to the time for completion. An interesting element of the claim concerned a contractual provision on delay and concurrency. This was a particularly challenging project, not only because of the complexity, delay and disruption but because of managing the multifaceted team with stretching deadlines.
What have been the defining moments of your career?
To become a chartered surveyor and chartered arbitrator. Also working alongside King’s Council (KC) on mediation and arbitration commissions. A very surreal and proud moment for me. The King’s Council are barristers or solicitors who have been acknowledged for excellence in advocacy.
Did you always want to be a Quantity Surveyor? If you weren’t a Quantity Surveyor, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t a QS or I didn’t take that journey, let’s just say I would have been a lot of trouble!
What career advice would you give your younger self?
To my younger self, I would probably say take every opportunity that comes your way! You never know what’s round the corner, could be a new road or a secret door.
Soben’s experienced Quantity Surveyors provide expert testimony and litigation support to the construction industry. We offer expert services, acting as independent expert witnesses, or representing disputing parties, as well as litigation support, claim preparation, dispute avoidance and resolution arbitration. Find out more.
To find out more about Soben’s specialist services in EMEA you can contact Edward on the details below:
Director – Specialist Services, EMEA