Laing O’Rourke is expanding its fledgling consultancy business in an attempt to become a force in programme management.

It is understood that it has launched a recruitment drive for consultancy specialists, and has taken on several senior staff from US engineer Bechtel.

The company is working in a programme management capacity on the Olympics as part of delivery consortium CLM. Its plans to expand the consultancy business, Portfolio Solutions, would also give it greater involvement with clients at an early stage of projects.

It is understood that the arm could be used on projects where Laing O’Rourke is not working as a contractor.