Construction Experts 2017: Analysis
For the third time, we also identify the leading construction experts, who provide assistance to clients as expert witnesses in major construction litigation as well as advising on an array of quantum and delay issues.
This year, 128 individuals from over 50 firms are highlighted for their exceptional expertise in the sector.
HKA remains the foremost firm in the field, achieving an impressive 24 listings across Europe, Asia and the US. Other global construction specialists include FTI Consulting and Navigant Consulting who also perform well in this edition. Both firms are noted for their expertise throughout North America, Asia and EMEA, illustrating their strong international presence.
|Patrick McGeehin||FTI Consulting, Rockville|
|Paul Barry||GB2, London|
|Michael Stokes||Navigant, London|
|Jon Prudhoe||Navigant, Singapore|
|Amit Garg||Secretariat International, Singapore|
Global professional services firm NAVIGANT is one of two firms leading the way in our research with an exceptional 15 of its experts listed this year.
In Singapore, “formidable” thought leader Jon Prudhoe is highlighted as “particularly well known as a quantum expert” while also being “probably the best delay expert in APAC”. Sources praise him as “fast, practical and above all just very good; he is our first choice”.
Garry Crossley is a “very experienced expert who instinctively knows what feels right and wrong”. He is particularly well regarded for his skill as an expert witness, where “he is very good at giving evidence and gains the trust of tribunals”.
Sources “really rate” Michael Stokes in the firm’s London office, picking him out as a “superb quantum expert” who also handles matters involving professional negligence, delay and disruption relating to commercial buildings as well as infrastructure projects.
Liam Holder is also widely respected for his skills as a quantum expert and has notable experience giving evidence on construction and engineering projects around the world.
In Washington, DC, prominent peers “really like and respect” Greg Crider. He has exceptional experience gained through advising on a wide array of construction projects in the US and worldwide.
John Livengood in the firm’s San Francisco office is another very experienced and highly regarded practitioner. His experience covers projects including chemical facilities, power plants and bridges.
Sources “have a lot of respect” for Peter Badala, who possesses over 30 years of experience in the industry, advising on cost and scheduling issues.
Scott Gray is praised by peers for his proficiency at “asking the right questions and not being afraid to tell it like it is”, while being “very easy to work with and making himself available to attorneys’ and clients’ needs”. He has advised on over 250 projects and contracts.
Darin Buchalter leaves clients “most impressed with his thoroughness, intelligence, methodologies and his mastery of detail”, while others pick out his “strong analytical mind” in construction-related disputes as a particular strength.
Guy Elkington is our top-rated practitioner in the UAE. He is noted for being “very even-keeled” and as someone who “knows his stuff and is very unbiased and straightforward”.
HKA obtains the most listings this year, with an unparalleled 21 superb experts standing out to the market in our research.
Wendy MacLaughlin is the highest-rated expert at the firm, gaining a plethora of outstanding comments from peers and clients alike. She is “able to explain the complexities of her analysis to lay people in an accessible and persuasive manner” while having “in-depth knowledge both of her area of expertise and the complexities of the arbitration process”. One lawyer sums up her skills by saying, “she is everything you would expect of an expert”.
Derek Nelson is also popular with interviewees, who highlight him as “usually the quickest to comprehend the crux of a matter and from there he offers and communicates the practical options or solutions”. He also “performs well in cross-examinations” and offers “professional and consistently high-quality work”.
Franco Mastrandrea is one of the most established figures in the market, with over 35 years of experience, and is highly regarded by practitioners and peers alike.
Thomas Driscoll is an incredibly seasoned practitioner who has been providing expert testimony since 1969, handling some of the most significant construction claims around the world.
Lee Baker and David Merritt, in Singapore and the UAE respectively, are also highly commended.
FTI CONSULTING is another very strong performer, gaining nominations from around the world for its excellent team. In total, 19 of its experts are featured.
Patrick McGeehin is one of the leading construction experts in the world. Sources laud him variously as “the best quantum and government contracts expert I have ever seen” and “the quantum expert you want on a bet-the-company type of case”. He is described as “phenomenal on the stand” and “a natural testifying witness who is able to cut through the noise of a case and focus on the key issues”.
Seattle-based Paul Ficca has “excellent knowledge and understanding” and provides “great testimony” according to interviewees. He is particularly well known for his costs and damages work relating to construction projects.
Sources are left “impressed with the work” of Neil Gaudion, highlighting his “quality, timeliness and efficiency as well as his industry knowledge” on construction issues.
Perth-based Stephen Rae is a highly experienced figure praised for his knowledge of the Australian construction market, particularly delay and disruption cases involving the energy and natural resources sector.
Owen Fox is recognised for his skill and expertise advising all parties in construction on a range of issues including quantum. According to sources, “He always gives a straightforward and clear answer, even when it’s one you don’t want to hear”.
Douglas Saporito is rated by sources who note his “great technical skills and extreme dedication”, as well as his “capacity for reasoning and organisation, and his intelligent and shrewd answers”.
SECRETARIAT INTERNATIONAL is home to four excellent construction experts.
Amit Garg is the leading construction expert in Asia, according to our interviewees, who highlight his “fantastic grasp of the facts and details” and describe him as “very thorough and methodical, and able to analyse complex problems and present his evidence on them clearly and simply”. He handles cases around the world, including in the Middle East, Australia and China.
Don Harvey is “one of the most well-regarded schedule delay experts in the world”, according to one prominent construction lawyer. He is noted as “comfortable in any dispute resolution forum and has an unflappable and very good demeanour on the witness stand”.
The “bright and tough” Ted Scott is also highly recommended by sources, who note his “excellent technical knowledge on schedule delay analysis”.
Mike Saulsbury enjoys a “superb reputation” for his work in the construction field.
BLACKROCKPM is another fine firm for construction work, according to our research, with six of their experts listed here.
The “very authoritative” David Barry is highlighted as “probably the leading delay expert at the moment”. Sources note his “effective testimony” and “excellent presentation skills” as particular strengths.
Joanne Prior “adds real value to a case”, say sources, who identify “her thinking outside the box and putting forward arguments that might not have been previously identified” as keys to the success of her excellent quantum-oriented practice.
David Goodman is “very highly valued” by clients and market sources who note his “skill at providing detailed analyses”, thanks to his background as a civil engineer.
Five experts from DELTA CONSULTING GROUP are highlighted.
Mark Dungan in Virginia provides “meticulous work” and has “great skills forensically”. He is also highlighted as “an excellent expert witness who engenders trust in his testimony”.
Dakus Gunn is “diligent, hard-working and unquestionably professional”, according to sources, who also note that “he clearly knows what he’s talking about” on construction issues.
Gene Lash is an “insightful and creative” expert who is “whip-smart” in his observations and advice. As one commentator laments, “I’m sorry to say that the only drawback is that there is but one Gene Lash!”
Sources have no hesitation in describing firm president Jeffrey Fuchs as a "consummate expert witness imbued with credibility", while the Orlando-based Charles Heckman is described as "top-notch" by knowledgeable sources.
Paul Barry at GB2 stands out as one of our most nominated lawyers in this edition with his “excellence as a quantum expert” making him an “obvious” inclusion in the guide. He has advised contractors employers and consultants in a range of arbitration and court settings.
Colin Byford also stands out for his “thorough research and testimony”, according to a peer.
Andrew Yendall at YENDALL HUNTER performs well in our research thanks to his deep experience in construction matters, both as an expert witness and an adviser.
At DIALES EXPERT WITNESS SERVICES, John Mullen is praised as a “very pragmatic” expert who “comes across as very knowledgeable on the stand”. A source says that he is “for me, the best quantum expert in the UK at the moment”.