Construction industry stalwart earns lifetime achievement recognition

Len Bunton

A construction industry professional who has worked for better conditions across the sector has been recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award by SELECT.

Len Bunton, FRICS, FCIArb, Hon FRIAS was honoured by the trade association at the SELECT President’s Lunch in Glasgow.

As a past chairman of both the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Scottish Building Contracts Committee, Len has enjoyed a long career as a chartered quantity surveyor, arbitrator, adjudicator, expert witness, and mediator.

He has played a significant role in customer care, best practice, business development and dispute avoidance, most recently with the Conflict Avoidance Process and Conflict Avoidance Pledge.

Announcing the award, Alan Wilson, MD of SELECT, said, “I was only eight years old when Len first qualified and took the first steps on what has been the most extraordinary career path. His list of achievements is so long and so varied that it is tiring just reading them out. He really is a human tornado, with a never-ending supply of energy and ideas aimed at improving the industry and the conditions of those who work within it.

“Len was also instrumental in the establishment of the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum [now the Construction Industry Collective Voice] which has been so important in facilitating the sector’s safe return to work after the pandemic.”

Len accepted his award from SELECT president Alistair Grant. He said, “We have seen some great advances across the industry in recent years and we must continue to work together to ensure we improve conditions for everyone.”

Seven years after qualifying in 1972, Len started his own firm and, within a few years, built it into a 50-strong practice focusing on project management, cost management, building surveying, and dispute resolution.

It was acquired in the 1990s by a UK company, of which Len became a main board director. In 1996, he joined the board of the Bucknall Group and further developed his experience on building and civil engineering projects.

In recent years he has been involved in many dispute resolution issues as arbiter, adjudicator, expert witness, mediator, conciliator and claims consultant, and is currently chair of the Conflict Avoidance Working Group in Scotland, and vice chair of the UK Conflict Avoidance Coalition.

The Lifetime Achievement award is intended to reflect ‘extraordinary contributions’ to the industry. Past recipients include Jock Simpson, chair of the SJIB, and SELECT past president David Smith, who were both present at the lunch.