Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald is set to appoint managing director Simon Jones as its managing partner following the retirement of Peter Sanders last Friday.

It is understood that Jones, who is believed to be the company's top fee-earner, will be formally announced as the new head of the top-five consultant next week.

His appointment follows uncertainty over who would replace Sanders. David Barratt, senior partner, was also understood to have been in the running for the post.

The post is likely to be highly lucrative for Jones. In accounts published in January this year for G&T's first year as a limited liability partnership, Sanders was revealed to have earned £751,000 - almost a quarter-of-a-million pounds more than Rob Smith, senior partner of Davis Langdon.

A key challenge for Jones is expected to be a revamp of the company's approach to its international projects.

He takes over a year after the collapse of G&T's global alliance with Chinese QS Levett & Bailey and Australian consultant Rider Hunt, which was caused by a dispute over operations in China. G&T still owns offices in the USA, the Middle East, and continental Europe.

Jones has been a long-standing senior figure in the practice and was part of a three-strong management team that took over the day-to-day running of the business in 1999, when Michael Coates retired as senior partner after 21 years.

A challenge for Jones is expected to be a revamp of G&T’s approach to its international projects

The other two members of the team were Roger Fidgen and Colin Wyatt. Sanders took the role of managing partner at the same time to run administration in the firm.

These management changes came as a surprise to the industry at the time. In particular, Jones' background as a project manager rather than a QS made him an unusual choice for the role. Commentators now see his appointment as a reflection of how the QS sector is expanding beyond pure cost consultancy.

Jones was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1998 New Year Honours List, and later that year was appointed a trustee of the Historic Royal Places Trust.

G&T declined to comment on the appointment.

Retail developer Freeport has also made a senior appointment. Robin Binks, a former partner in corporate finance at Deloitte & Touche, has been appointed chairman of the company with immediate effect, less than a month after founder and chief executive Sean Collidge resigned. Binks will be responsible for all board and operational matters until the company has appointed a new chief executive.