Former Millennium Dome project director David Trench has set up a legal business with the founder of leading construction law firm Winward Fearon.

Trench, who hit the headlines last month when he left Laing O’Rourke’s Ascot racecourse project after problems with the client, has set up a company called CPR with Richard Winward, who is retired.

The firm is marketing itself as a company that is established to provide “a dynamic, flexible and cost-effective service for the resolution of construction disputes and the factoring of construction claims and debt”.

Winward was the founding partner of Winward Fearon and, until his retirement from the practice in December 2002, was head of its construction law department.

Trench told Building last month that he was “not getting on with the client” at Ascot, and that he was planning to retire. But he is now writing to potential clients, including Land Securities, for his new business.

He said: “Richard and I set up this company as we felt that we could combine our knowledge of law and project management into a niche area of expertise.”

Trench said the key features of CPR’s business would include:

Richard and I felt we could combine our knowledge into a niche area of expertise

David Trench, CPR

  • Rapid and objective initial claims audit and strategic assessment;
  • Skilled outsourcing and use of client overheads to provide cost-efficient claims;
  • Management on a project-by-project basis.

Meanwhile a decision is expected on whether Royal Ascot is to be held at Ascot racecourse or is to be held again in York within the next two weeks, depending on Laing O’Rourke’s construction programme.

The client of the £185m project, Royal Ascot, has become increasingly nervous since Trench left the scheme after four years on the project. Trench said at the time that he had “not been getting on too well” with the client, but added that the decision to leave the project was mutual. He said: “To be honest I’m 63, and I’m looking to retire to France anyway, so it was a good time to leave.”

Trench added that the project faced difficulties because of the pressure of confirming next year’s racecard.