It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing away of Roger Knowles.

Many people will know Roger by reputation through his books and training courses or in a professional capacity and it is without doubt that Roger was an expert in his chosen field as well as an astute businessman. Most people will not, however, know much about Roger, the person. Although I worked for JR Knowles in the Middle East and I only met him on a few occasions, we kept in touch, and he became something of a mentor to me and a great influence on my life.

When I was contemplating writing a practical book on claims, he not only encouraged me, but introduced me to his publishers and wrote the foreword to the book. I am currently working on my sixth book, so Roger helped to kick-start all these publications.

When I was not happy with my current employment, he suggested that going it alone might be an option. This eventually culminated in me being a director and partner of a consultancy practice offering similar services to JR Knowles.

After my first book was published, several readers contacted me wanting to know if I could recommend any training courses on the subject of construction claims. When I contacted Roger to see if he knew of anything available, he not only suggested that I create a course, but also volunteered to share the presentation of the first course to be delivered in London.

On one occasion, we were enjoying lunch by a hotel pool in Dubai when we started talking idly about the fact that claims had become a specialist sector of the industry and consequently deserved some sort of professional recognition. A year or so later, the Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners was born with Roger as the first president. The ICCP now has many members throughout the World and teaches best practice and sets standards for the management of claims.

In his book, Someone Up There Likes Us, Roger tells of the time in the 1970’s when he had decided to offer a one-stop dispute resolution service and says that he considered ‘that my client’s entitlements, whether in respect of time and/or money, should be encapsulated in one fully comprehensive document headed “Construction Claim”. The Claim would tell the story of the events relating to the dispute which could be understood by anybody unconnected with the project, without having to refer to any other documents or person.” This simple goal set the standard for the compilation of claims and is something that we are still observing in our consultancy work and teaching on training courses almost 50 years later.

Thank you, Roger, for your mentorship, inspiration, and support – you have left a great legacy.

My condolences go out to Roger’s family.