Hays Construction & Property sponsored this award, which turned out to be a close battle between two well-known cost consultants. The final victor was the firm that used its first year as an LLP to expand its fee income and staff


Davis Langdon

New brand, new structure, same high-quality services. In its first year as a limited liability partnership, UK operating profit rose 89% to £25.5m with fee income up 18% to £106m. Davis Langdon also hired an extra 109 staff. They and the rest of the 1310-strong team have plenty to do: the partnership won 115 contracts in the year to 1 November 2005, for projects worth a total of £1.75bn. One job that's already on site is the £75m renovation of five buildings at the Norwich Union headquarters, where Davis Langdon is busily combining the roles of cost and project manager for the client, as well as employer's agent and cost manager for outsource partner Land Securities Trillium. It's basically indispensable.

Davis Langdon is currently working on Project Horizon, a five-property renovation scheme for Norwich Union

Davis Langdon is currently working on Project Horizon, a five-property renovation scheme for Norwich Union

Runners up

Cyril Sweett
Highly commended

A runner-up last year, the cost consultant and project manager impressed the judges again with its bend-over-backwards attitude to customers.

Its 20 key clients, who generate 40% of the firm's business, are each assigned an account director. Two clients even attended a directors' conference to discuss Cyril Sweett's performance. The rest can air their views in the annual customer satisfaction survey. Staff also get a satisfaction survey, plus 2% of turnover invested in training, an award-winning share plan and an £85,000 social fund. So everyone's well looked after and UK profit in 2005 rose 21.6% to £3.4m. Oh, we do so love a happy ending …


Last year's winner is still in the land of the giants, with UK fee income at £831.9m and more than 11,000 staff in Britain. That's not to say this multidisciplinary superconsultant can't do the small stuff. In the past year, it has regenerated Chepstow High Street and refurbished a footbridge on the M6 as well as starting work on the $1bn Durrat Al Bahrain development of villas and leisure facilities. With such strength in depth, it's no wonder repeat business stands at 79%.

Faber Maunsell

How many engineers have conceived a building for Antarctica? Not many, but the Halley VI research station (designed with Hugh Broughton Architects) is just one of the ways that Faber Maunsell stands out from the crowd. Another is its Excellence Model, used to measure customer satisfaction, staff development and supplier relationships. Then there's its expertise in sustainability, which it's lending to the government in the review of Part L. And here's a stand-out figure: 30.8%. That's the increase in operating profits last year, to £6m.

Turner & Townsend

Some people spend years looking for the perfect partner, but OGCbuying.solutions, Nissan, English Partnerships and BAA have all found it in Turner & Townsend. The cost consultant and project manager has gone down the aisle more times than Elizabeth Taylor, signing 50 framework agreements that, in some cases, will last 20 years. Last year, when it was also a runner-up, UK fee income stood at £67.9m and operating profit at £8.6m. This year, both figures have shot up to £87.9m and £10.7m.

WSP Group

WSP likes to pamper its clients: it uses not one but three bespoke tools to manage customer service and delivery. That dedication has helped it bump up the order book by 25% to £550m. Also boosting its profile is its engineering work on the new headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Edinburgh project, which includes the largest passive chilled beam installation in Europe, was delivered on budget and three months early. Meanwhile, WSP's profit hit £10m last year and looks set to keep on rising …