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A Dubai-based principal of the Middle East arm of Ted Jacob Engineering Group (TJEG) has said its working relationship with architectural firm RMJM has come to an acrimonious end. 

Robert Hamilton Mitchell, who previously worked for RMJM for 24 years, said TJEG and RMJM were now locked in a legal dispute over alleged late payments.

TJEG bought the Dubai-based structural engineering arm of RMJM in 2012, and it is understood that part of the sale and purchase agreement terms included both firms collaborating over a period of time on a non-exclusive basis. That relationship has since fractured.

“Initially, our momentum was driven by the fact that there were existing contracts [with RMJM]. We are now RMJM-free,” said Mitchell. “It will be resolved in legal channels.”

Mitchell says that for 2014 there will be no let-up in its plan to widen its reputation in the market. TJEG would certainly like to do more work in the UAE, especially in Abu Dhabi, and also increase its GCC footprint - the wider Middle East, Iraq and Libya are on the radar.

“There’s always a nervousness about working in those places and I wouldn’t build a business dependant on those, but the people that live there deserve a much higher quality of life and governments I think recognise this and are going to spend money - I think initially in infrastructure, healthcare and education. That’s very much in line with the kind of things that we do.”

For the full interview see the next edition of Construction Week.