THE after-effects of Carillion’s collapse are likely to be felt for months and perhaps even years to come, as the spotlight rightly falls on the reasons behind its failure and how the public procurement model needs to change to ensure such catastrophic insolvency events do not occur again.

Adam McGhee of architects’ firm Sheppard Robson has views worth listening to on the subject, with his observation that tenders should not purely be awarded on price particularly astute. If a contractor cannot deliver a project at the cost it sets out in the tender – at least, not without having a knock-on effect on its sub-contractors – it must be asked to return with a more realistic bid.

Sheppard itself has significant exposure to the public sector, having been heavily involved in the design of higher education buildings since its Scottish office was established a decade ago, so it is not surprising to hear it has views on the procurement process.

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But it is not just sitting back and hoping that the system will be changed for the good.

Having identified that the independence referendum in 2014 could disrupt the market, and then having similar thoughts around Brexit, the firm took a decision to diversify its workload. And it has been proven to be an effective move, as the firm has built up its presence in the residential and commercial property markets. As such, Mr McGhee is upbeat about Sheppard’s prospects. But with Brexit bringing uncertainty, over funding, business confidence and freedom of movement, he is careful to add the word “cautious” to his “optimistic” view of the near-term future.