Construction and energy law firm Fenwick Elliott addressed the emergence of technology in construction and its potential impact at a recent seminar held in London
Fenwick Elliot warned against new legislative and contractual risk issues associated with digitalisation and developing technology in construction, such as the use of BIM, drones and 3D robotics.
Chaired by senior partner Simon Tolson, the event saw a panel of experts present talks including partners Jeremy Glover and Jonathan More, senior associate Dr Stacy Sinclair, as well as Erland Rendall, founder of Atorus Consult Ltd and Wavelength chief scientific officer Dr Ben Gardner.
Delegates representing a large number of the UK’s major construction, engineering and property services companies, decision makers and local government influencers attended Strand’s ME London hotel to hear from the panel.
Simon, alongside the speakers, called for the industry to modernise by embracing what is now possible in design to move from mass production of standardised components to mass customisation, while remaining vigilant to the legal issues surrounding modern methods of construction and DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) for off the peg approaches.
Simon commented: “Technology is a key component of engineering, construction and energy law projects we specialise in as lawyers. In the law and data management machine learning has arrived and using AI to dig deep into unstructured data is something we care a lot about conquering to help our clients get to solutions fast.
“Our vision is that through establishing standardised approaches, we can improve the whole-life performance of built assets and create higher quality, cost-effective buildings that are more comfortable to live and work in, resulting in fewer disputes.”
The seminar coincided with the announcement that Fenwick Elliott is making significant investment in 2019 to strengthen its global ties, including relaunching the Dubai office as its international hub.
Patrick Stone said: “It’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of our Dubai operation as we look to cement our presence in the UAE and explore new opportunities further afield.
“We are continually investing in our business here and to make way for new faces and improved facilities, we hope to relocate into a larger space in the coming months.”
Ahmed Ibrahim added: “The legal implications of technology in construction are more prevalent than ever and this applies globally.
“The smarter we design and procure buildings, the more competitive we become in driving costs down and improving productivity. We’re looking forward to guiding our international clients on these matters through the changing landscape ahead.”