Laing O'Rourke

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Laing O'Rourke
Private limited company
Industry Construction, Civil Engineering
Founded 1978
Headquarters Dartford, United Kingdom
Key people
Ray O'Rourke KBE
(Chairman and CEO)
Revenue £3,172.5 million (2016/17)[1]
£(43.9) million (2016/17)[1]
£(60.6) million (2016/17)[1]
Number of employees
15,273 (2016/17)[1]

Laing O'Rourke is a multinational construction company headquartered in Dartford, England, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1978 by Ray O'Rourke. It is the largest privately owned construction company in the United Kingdom.[2]


The company was founded by Ray O'Rourke in 1978. It was originally based in east London, and was known as R. O'Rourke & Son.[3] In September 2001, R. O'Rourke bought Laing Construction from John Laing plc for £1. Laing's construction business had been making significant losses, in part due to additional costs on the Cardiff Millennium Stadium project. The name of the company was changed to Laing O'Rourke.[4]

In May 2004, the company acquired Crown House Engineering, a mechanical & electrical engineering business, from Carillion.[5] Laing O'Rourke went on to expand its operations in Australia in July 2006, when it acquired Barclay Mowlem, also from Carillion.[6]

In 2015, the company became a member of the Housing and Finance Institute.[7]

On 11 January 2016, Laing O'Rourke announced that it had begun the formal sale process of selling its Australian business. This was a result of multiple unsolicited offers and a desire to invest more heavily in the company's operations in the United Kingdom.[8] However, the sale process was later discontinued and the Australian business was refinanced in 2017.[9]

In the year to 31 March 2017, the group made a loss of £67m, largely due to losses of £81m (on revenues of just over £2 billion) at the largest operating division, Laing O'Rourke plc, mainly attributed to a loss-making PFI hospital contract (at CHUM) in Montreal, Canada. The contracting business employed 8,539 people, more than half of the group's 15,273 staff.[10] Publication of the group's 2018 results was delayed due to "historic turbulence in the construction sector" following the January 2018 collapse of Carillion.[9]


Laing O'Rourke has operations in two major geographic hubs, Europe and Australia. European operations span Abu Dhabi, Canada, Dubai and the United Kingdom. Australian operations cover Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South East Asia [11] The company operates in building construction, infrastructure construction, investment & development, modular manufacturing, engineering expertise and support services.[12]

Its projects span a range of sectors including, building, transport, power, water & utilities, mining & natural resources and oil & gas.[13]

Major projects

The new Ascot stand built by Laing O'Rourke to a design by Populous and Buro Happold; Completed 2006.
The company's tower cranes rebuilding Royal Ascot

Major projects involving the company have included;


Laing O'Rourke and its acquisition of 2004, Crown House, were revealed as subscribers to the UK's Consulting Association, exposed in 2009 for operating an illegal construction industry blacklist. Laing O'Rourke was later one of eight businesses involved in the launch in 2014 of the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme,[40] condemned as a "PR stunt" by the GMB union, and described by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee as "an act of bad faith".[41]

In October 2016, Laing O'Rourke and the other construction companies admitted that the blacklist was unlawful and apologised to those damaged by it.[42] In December 2017, Unite announced it had issued High Court proceedings against twelve major contractors, including Laing and Crown House.[43]


  1. ^ a b c d Laing O’Rourke. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  2. ^ Top 100 construction Companies The Construction Index
  3. ^ Laing O'Rourke: History Archived 2 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Laing shares half in value",, 27 September 2001.
  5. ^ Laing O'Rourke agrees to £17m deal to buy out Crown House[permanent dead link] Contract Journal, 19 May 2004.
  6. ^ Carillion sells Barclay Mowlem to Laing O'Rourke Australia for £30m Contract Journal, 3 July 2006
  7. ^ "PIF Proposal: Housing & Finance Institute" (PDF). City Of London Corporation. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. ^ Group Announcement: Potential divestment of Australian business[permanent dead link],, 11 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b Rogers, Dave (29 October 2018). "Laing O'Rourke blames 'Carillion factor' as it looks to calm jitters over late-running accounts…". Building. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  10. ^ Rogers, Dave (13 March 2018). "Laing O'Rourke plc stays in red". Building. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Where We Work". Laing O’Rourke. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  12. ^ "What We Do". Laing O’Rourke. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Our Sectors". Laing O’Rourke. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  14. ^ Ascot wins its race to redevelop the course The Times, 11 June 2006
  15. ^ Queen opens new Heathrow terminal BBC, 14 March 2008
  16. ^ Darwin Convention Centre
  17. ^ IAQ Handbook Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ UK giant Laing O'Rourke denies ME withdrawal Construction Weekly, 10 June 2010
  19. ^ a b "Equion signs major Newcastle hospital contract worth £300m". John Laing plc. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  20. ^ What next for Laing O'Rourke? Britain's most secretive contractor Building, 5 November 2010
  21. ^ "One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge Flats". e-architect. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  22. ^ "'Milestone move' for PFI hospital". BBC. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  23. ^ "New ward approved for 'shoddily built' Middlesbrough hospital". BBC. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  24. ^ "The Contract/Project Agreement (PA)" (PDF). University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  25. ^ Laing O’Rourke begins London Gateway dredging NCE, 17 March 2010
  26. ^ O’Rourke to start Cheesegrater next month Construction Enquirer, 2 August 2011
  27. ^ Laing O'Rourke/Ferrovial sign £800m Terminal 2 deal CN Plus, 15 March 2010
  28. ^ "The Pacemaker: Inside Laing O'Rourke's fastest ever hospital". Construction News. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  29. ^ O’Rourke wins prized £350m superlab contract Construction Enquirer, 2 March 2011
  30. ^ O’Rourke signs £1.27bn deal for Canadian hospital Construction Enquiror, 25 February 2011
  31. ^ "Laing O'Rourke and Ryder appointed to build £200m Dumfries Royal Infirmary". Urban Realm. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  32. ^ "TfL awards £300M Bond Street contract to Costain/Laing O'Rourke JV". New Civil Engineer. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  33. ^ Aldar Al Raha Beach sees first contract Arabian Business, 16 July 2011
  34. ^ "Glan Clwyd Hospital Redevelopment". Premier Construction News. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  35. ^ "Next step for Northern Line Extension". Wandsworth Council. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  36. ^ Garner-Purkis, Zak (26 October 2018). "Laing O'Rourke confirmed on Carillion's Royal Liverpool Hospital". Construction News. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  37. ^ Laing O'Rourke/Bouygues lands £2bn Hinkley nuclear prize Construction News, 19 June 2012
  38. ^ "O'Rourke starts work on £420m Brighton hospital". Construction Enquirer. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  39. ^ "Laing O'Rourke wins £700m Brent Cross expansion". Construction News. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  40. ^ "Construction blacklist compensation scheme opens". BBC News: Business. BBC. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  41. ^ "Scottish Affairs - Seventh Report Blacklisting in Employment: Final Report". Scottish Affairs Select Committee. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  42. ^ "Blacklisted workers win compensation from big construction firms". The Guardian. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  43. ^ Prior, Grant (4 December 2017). "Unite launches new round of blacklisting legal action". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 4 December 2017.

External links

  • Laing O'Rourke website
  • Austrak website
  • CHt website
  • Explore Living
  • Redispan website
  • Select Plant Hire website
  • Vetter website

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