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Thursday24 July 2014

RMJM's UK businesses in receivership

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Troubled architect announces major restructure

RMJM has today placed three of its UK businesses into receivership.

The move, which sees KPMG acting as the receivers for RMJM, RMJM London and RMJM Scotland, is the result of a strategic review by the directors of the practice.

All of the contracts, and associated architecture teams, have been acquired by a new business – RMJM European Division. This now sits alongside RMJM Middle East, RMJM US and RMJM Asia to make up the RMJM Group.

Chief executive Peter Morrison said: “The RMJM team around the world has shown tremendous resilience and loyalty in extremely challenging circumstances over the last number of years.

“The financial issues the business has faced are a direct impact of a brutal global recession and the well-documented impact of this on the UK construction market. This restructuring is designed to support the clients, projects and the staff of RMJM’s business in the UK.”

In a statement issued today RMJM said all 120 UK jobs have been saved following the restructure.

The news follows a troubled week for RMJM, with bailiffs seizing equipment at its London office just a few days ago.

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Readers' comments (27)

  • Best of luck to all those hard working staff at RMJM. This may well be car crash entertainment to some readers, but many of the staff are good, loyal architects with families. Hopefully they can stay in work and keep getting paid on time.

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  • Having worked in the RMJM Glasgow office for 4 years back in the good old days of early 2000 I find this news really sad. There were a lot of good people in RMJM Scotland who were great architects and a pleasure to work with. It is a shame that a few people led by greed and egos have brought this once well-established and reputable company to where it is now! Congratulations - well done, you should be ashamed of yourselves!

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  • Where does this leave UK creditors, included ex-staff still chasing owed wages I wonder?

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  • I doubt that anybody has seen this as entertainment, Kevin. RMJM is (or was) a well-respected company that has been painfully and publicly humiliated.

    Also, with the transfer of on-going contracts to the surviving entities, it may be presumed that all the consultant and supplier creditors owed money by the defunt subsidiaries of RMJM now stand to lose any hope of securing payment. Undoubtedly, these are also composed of loyal, hard-working people with families.

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  • stan

    Restructuring to support clients, projects and staff or a transparent avoidance of debts!? It’s outrageous what they can get away with.

    Perhaps there is a "brutal global recession" but what’s more brutal is RMJM's treatment of staff, sub-consultants and suppliers whose payments they continually withheld and most of which they can now shake off!

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  • So so sad! What a tragic end to what was once a great architectural practice. Kevin, I may have referred to the reporting of the RMJM debacle as akin to car crash TV but it certainly isn't entertaining. My thoughts are with every one of the RMJM staff that have been thoroughly abused by their employers. It's truly sickening.

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  • Basically a disgusting move to save the cash and avoid paying any debts. I would say a warning sign to any future employee or consultant, supplier and such, these guys won't have any problems avoiding payment.

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  • Basil: On the contrary, I think a great many commenters to these stories would gleefully see it as just desserts for RMJM to fold entirely; a position I can empathise, if not agree with.

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  • How ironic that Building Design should be carrying this at the same time as an item in Advice about "What steps can smaller practices take to recover debts".

    Is it unduly cynical to look on this development as legal debt avoidance?

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  • The global recession has proven especially difficult for all architectural and engineering firms of all sizes; from small single practitioners to very large corporate conglomerates. Almost every size entity has lost projects, been left with unpaid receipts, and, worse yet, had to let go staff. The real tragedy involves not only massive un-employment but the unravelling of well crafted professional practices.

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