Appointing Advisors

Once advisors have been identified who are qualified and suitably experienced one can be chosen using a number of methods:

  • Issue an invitation to tender for the work to be done to 3-5 advisors outlining the services required. The tender invitation should set out a brief (set of instructions – see below) accompanied by specifications and drawings (if applicable). All advisors should be asked to provide their costs on the same basis, at the same time, using the same documents and set a deadline for their return.
  • Include requirements and timing for meeting with potential advisors as part of the selection process. Requesting a presentation on how they would tackle the work and key issues they think are involved in responding to the brief. The meeting is an opportunity to discuss the brief as well as assessing the suitability of the person(s).
  • Negotiate a price for the work directly with a company or individual that has been identified, based on the same documentation prepared for a tender process.

A prevalent view is to appoint on the basis of the lowest price. Whilst this may be appropriate for well specified building works for example (even then it is questionable) it is not likely to work with design and legal advisors with whom more dialogue is likely to be needed about what is needed.

Selecting Advisors

  • How accessible is the advisor– where are they located, will they come to where the project is located?
  • Evaluate the quality of the response received from the advisor and any interviews that are included as part of your selection or tendering process. Will it be possible to form a good relationship with the advisor(s)?
  • Is the advisor a clear communicator?
  • Will the advisors go that extra mile, make an effort, and avoid jargon and being patronising?
  • Is the advisor actively interested in what the project is aiming to achieve. Does the advisor have similar projects in their portfolio?
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