Expert available for commentary on Carillion insolvency

Issue date: 15 January 2018

Construction image

Dr Jim Mason, Associate Head of Department for the Built Environment programmes at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), is available for expert commentary on the collapse of construction company Carillion.

Dr Mason, whose specialisms are in construction contracts, law and ethics, believes the failure to embrace new technology may have contributed towards this situation. The use of technology such as smart contracts could help prevent a major construction company folding in the future, he says.

He said: “We need to turn our backs on the bad old ways of doing things. The solutions have been known for a long time but government reports heralding in a new era are gathering dust on the shelves.

“The construction industry has the worst record for embracing technology and there are no good reasons for this to be the case. The opportunity to bring construction into the digital age is something we have been working hard to promote at UWE Bristol. We have the ability to embrace technology and use smart contracts to bring in such improvements as real time payments and autonomous self-governance of contracts using blockchain type ledger recording of the myriad of contracts which could be generated.

“It might be that Carillion's collapse - a fall of one of the titans of the established order - will lead to a better approach. Technology is key to this.”

Dr Mason's research interests include dispute resolution and a socio-legal approach to defining construction law. Advances in technology and the potential of smart contracts are his current projects.

UWE Bristol's Department of Architecture and the Built Environment brings together students and academics from a broad range of architectural, engineering, property and construction disciplines in a creative and inter-disciplinary environment.

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