With the number of construction disputes getting ever higher, now could be a good time to hit the books and get some legal qualifications

It is becoming increasingly clear that this is the age of the lawyer. With the recession leading cash-strapped construction companies to claw back funds wherever they can, a huge rise in construction disputes has taken place – last year, the RICS alone received more than 1,000 adjudication applications – and there simply are not enough appropriately trained people to deal with them.

Of course, at the same time as this explosion in legal activity, construction professionals in general are experiencing the opposite phenomenon.

Earlier this month the Society of Chartered Surveyors predicted that as many as 40,000 jobs could be lost in the property and building sectors this year. It might not be an overnight solution, but getting some legal training now could help make your services indispensable in the difficult times ahead.

We spoke with Dee James who trained as a QS at Davis Langdon and worked for Gardiner & Theobald before retraining as a solicitor with Finers Stephens Innocent and qualifying in 2006.

Also meet Nicolas Noyer who trained as a QS before boosting his CV with some legal qualifications. He now works as a senior consultant specialising in disputes and dispute avoidance for construction claims and project management specialist Hill International.

Read about their careers in the full article Taking the law into your own hands.