British Expertise

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“Our events are excellent networking opportunities. British Expertise can and does lobby effectively in our members' interests.” [1]

British Expertise - formerly the British Consultants and Construction Bureau - is a corporate lobby group representing the interests of British business overseas. Its focus is on investigating and lobbying for British contracts in developing countries.


British Expertise was formed in December 1964 as the British Overseas Engineering Services Bureau, and was originally based in Quadrant House on Pall Mall. At its formation The Times reported that:

The bureau has been formed with encouragement from the Government, at the instigation of the Association of Consulting Engineers and the Export Group for the Construction Industries…In short the bureau will be the spearhead for winning potential valuable contracts by arranging to show developing countries what they need and who can build it for them.[2]

In 1966 the government provided a grant of £13,125 towards the Bureau's running costs and a grant of up to £100,000 annually for feasibility surveys undertaken by British consultants.[3]

The organisation has been known by several different names. From December 1967 to October 2001 it was known as the British Consultants Bureau. It was then renamed the British Consultants and Construction Bureau (or BCCB Worldwide) and was subsequently relaunched as British Expertise in 2007.


British Expertise acts as a market intelligence and business training service, as well as providing networking opportunities and corporate lobbying for its members. The organisastion says its role is ‘to help members develop their business overseas’ by:

  • running trade missions.
  • supplying project leads.
  • organising meetings in London with a wide range of speakers.
  • running training seminars for exporters.
  • helping solve members' problems.
  • providing advice.
  • lobbying governments at home and abroad in support of members.

UK Trade & Investment contractor

British Expertise is part of the BCCB Midlands Consortium, which in 2006 was awarded a two-year contract by the British government’s UK Trade & Investment, to run the national Aid-Funded Business Service (AFBS).[4] AFBS was previously run in-house by UKTI. The project aims to raise awareness among UK companies of the commercial opportunities available by selling to international aid agencies and funding institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Commission and the Regional Development Banks.[5] British Expertise also receive income from UKTI through grants covering its overseas seminars and other activities. According to British Expertise latest accounts, it received £168,418 from UKTI in 2007-2008 and £118,920 the year before.


As of 18 September there were 217 members of British Expertise. Executives from its members make up British Expertise’s board of directors. A full list of member organisations is available from the organisations web site. Below is a selection of members:

Aegis Defence Services
Armor Group International PLC
The Association of Private Security Companies
The British Council
The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
Clifford Chance LLP - Contentious Construction Group
Constella Futures Group Europe
Control Risks
Crown Agents
The Emerging Markets Group of Deloitte
Francis Cotterill Associates
Group 4 Securicor Global Risks Ltd
Halliday Finch Ltd
Hart Security Ltd
Henley Associates
Higginson Associates
IMC Group Consulting Ltd
Kellogg Brown & Root Ltd
Olive Group UK Ltd
WYG International Ltd

Funding and Finances

British Expertise’s latest accounts report an income of £794,602, and an expenditure of £817,623. Over half its income is from membership subscriptions and over a fifth is from UKTI contracts. The remainder is received mostly from meetings and seminars. The organisation spent £9,622 on public relations in 2007-2008 and £12,371 the year before.[6]


1 Westminster Palace Gardens
Artillery Row
Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 3651
Fax: +44 (0)20 7222 3664


  1. British Expertise website, About British Expertise (accessed 18 September 2008)
  2. The Times, Saturday, Dec 12, 1964; pg. 13; Issue 56193; col A
  3. HC Deb 17 February 1966 vol 724 [cc279-80W]
  4. ‘BCCB wins UKT&I contract’, Birmingham Post, 28 March 2006
  5. British Expertise website, Aid Funded Business Service (accessed 18 September 2008)
  6. British Expertise Annual Accounts made up to 31 March 2008 p.5