Sir Martin Laing passes away aged 81


Sir Martin Laing has passed away aged 81. 

Sir Martin Laing. Credit: John Laing Charitable Trust.

The former John Laing chairman died peacefully in hospital in Malta on 27 December following a short illness. 

Sir Martin was leading the contractor when O’Rourke purchased the company in 2001, creating Laing O’Rourke. 

His death was confirmed by the John Laing Charitable Trust from which he had recently retired as chairman after more than three decades.  

Sir Martin was knighted in the New Year Honours List 1997 for services to the construction industry. 

“He will be especially missed by Stephanie, his wife of 58 years, children Edward and Alexandra, his five grandchildren, friends and many thousands of others to whose lives he made a real difference through his many corporate and charitable activities,” said the John Laing Charitable Trust.

Graham Watts, chief executive at the Construction Industry Council, said on social media: “So very sorry to hear of the death of Sir Martin Laing today – I worked closely with him when he chaired the Employers Confederation – in fact I went to see PM John Major with him in the Cabinet Office (together with Sir Ian Dixon) in 1992. He was a very kind and charming man.”  

A Construction Wave reader wrote online: “Great man and glad I got to meet him back in the day.” 

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.