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Thought Leaders

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Christopher Larkin

Christopher Larkin

FTI ConsultingTD South Tower79 Wellington Street WestTorontoCanadaM5K 1G8

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Quantum and delay expert Christopher Larkin is “very knowledgeable and hard-working” according to impressed peers.

Questions & Answers

The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.

Chris Larkin leads the construction solutions practice in Canada and is a senior managing director at FTI Consulting. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years of experience in the construction industry including 23 years specialising in construction dispute resolution. He is a chartered civil engineer and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr Larkin has testified as a construction delay expert witness in arbitrations in Canada and the Middle East.

Describe your career to date.

Hard work, good timing and luck. I graduated at a time when I had opportunities with engineering consultants and contractors. My first employer, High-Point Rendel, gave me excellent international experience and exposed me to the world of construction dispute resolution and the role of expert witnesses.More recently, working for FTI Consulting has allowed me to develop my career and work with leaders in the industry. I feel very fortunate to have worked on incredible projects with highly talented professionals.

What do clients look for in an effective planning expert witness?

I believe clients look for experts who provide attention to detail, but can also see the big picture. It is important to work well as part of the team and communicate findings effectively. Clients seek experts who are very experienced in their field, and confident when expressing their opinions and answering questions under cross-examination.

How do you prepare when appearing as an expert witness?

Thorough preparation is key. I read my reports and documentation again and again and again. There are often months between the preparation of the report and appearing at the hearing, so it’s important to refamiliarise oneself with the issues and facts.

I also seek feedback from my instructing lawyers on potential areas for cross-examination. Lawyers often know the opposing counsel and have a sense of where they will focus. This helps me anticipate and prepare for potential questions. 

What are the main challenges you face when appearing as an expert witness across the different platforms of dispute resolution?

One challenge is ensuring reports are appropriately drafted with the decision-maker in mind, namely the arbitral tribunal in arbitrations and judges in litigation. Arbitrators usually have a good understanding of construction, and construction disputes, and are often familiar with Gantt charts, delay analysis and contentious areas, such as different methods of delay analysis and concurrent delays. In litigation, depending on the jurisdiction and the court, judges may have a limited understanding of construction delays and analysis. Regardless of the platform, it’s important the decision maker understands the issues and the expert’s opinions.

What kind of impact do you see the introduction of the Construction Lien Act 2018 having on the industry?

The Construction Act will greatly improve cash flow in the Ontario construction industry. The changes and new measures introduced – primarily the prompt payment regime, greater lien rights and quick interim binding adjudication – will free up money that has been unjustifiably tied up. Adjudication in particular should greatly assist suppliers and subcontractors by helping ensure payment disputes are addressed quickly and painlessly. This will promote early settlement and should reduce the volume of construction disputes being referred to arbitration and litigation. However, the adjudication provisions are not best suited to deal with complex disputes on large projects – so complex disputes will continue to arbitration or the courts.

What challenges are unique to disputes pertaining to large and complex P3 infrastructure projects?

Large and complex P3 infrastructure projects present many challenges. Their sheer scale means there are vast amounts of documents and records to manage and review, many witnesses to interview and numerous issues to address. Typically, these mega projects have many and often distinct parts. I find it necessary to break down large projects into their smaller sub-projects to understand the detail, and frequently step back to see how the parts fit in the bigger picture. It’s only when you understand the detail and the big picture that you can decide how to analyse the issues appropriately and present your opinions clearly.

How would you like to see your practice developing in the next five years?

We have established a strong team with a proven track record in Ontario. I would like to see us become more active across Canada with teams on the ground in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement has been training and mentoring young professionals to be experts and future leaders. I have worked with some incredibly bright and talented young professionals who have chosen construction dispute resolution as a career. It has been fantastic to see them learn, develop their skills and advance their careers.

Thought Leaders - Construction 2019

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Quantum and delay expert Christopher Larkin is “very knowledgeable and hard-working” according to impressed peers.

Questions & Answers

Chris Larkin leads the construction solutions practice in Canada and is a senior managing director at FTI Consulting. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years of experience in the construction industry including 23 years specialising in construction dispute resolution. He is a chartered civil engineer and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr Larkin has testified as a construction delay expert witness in arbitrations in Canada and the Middle East.

Describe your career to date.

Hard work, good timing and luck. I graduated at a time when I had opportunities with engineering consultants and contractors. My first employer, High-Point Rendel, gave me excellent international experience and exposed me to the world of construction dispute resolution and the role of expert witnesses. More recently, working for FTI Consulting has allowed me to develop my career and work with leaders in the industry. I feel very fortunate to have worked on incredible projects with highly talented professionals.

What do clients look for in an effective planning expert witness?

I believe clients look for experts who provide attention to detail, but can also see the big picture. It is important to work well as part of the team and communicate findings effectively. Clients seek experts who are very experienced in their field, and confident when expressing their opinions and answering questions under cross-examination.

How do you prepare when appearing as an expert witness?

Thorough preparation is key. I read my reports and documentation again and again and again. There are often months between the preparation of the report and appearing at the hearing, so it’s important to refamiliarise oneself with the issues and facts.

I also seek feedback from my instructing lawyers on potential areas for cross-examination. Lawyers often know the opposing counsel and have a sense of where they will focus. This helps me anticipate and prepare for potential questions.

What are the main challenges you face when appearing as an expert witness across the different platforms of dispute resolution?

One challenge is ensuring reports are appropriately drafted with the decision-maker in mind, namely the arbitral tribunal in arbitrations and judges in litigation. Arbitrators usually have a good understanding of construction, and construction disputes, and are often familiar with Gantt charts, delay analysis and contentious areas, such as selection of method-of-delay analysis and concurrent delays. In litigation, depending on the jurisdiction and the court, judges may have a limited understanding of construction delays and analysis. Regardless of the platform, it’s important the decision maker understands the issues and the expert’s opinions.

What kind of impact do you see the introduction of the Construction Lien Act 2018 having on the industry?

The Construction Act will greatly improve cash flow in the Ontario construction industry. The changes and new measures introduced – primarily the prompt payment regime, greater lien rights and quick interim binding adjudication – will free up money that has been unjustifiably tied up.

Adjudication in particular should greatly assist suppliers and subcontractors by helping ensure payment disputes are addressed quickly and painlessly. This will promote early settlement and should reduce the volume of construction disputes being referred to arbitration. However, the adjudication provisions are not best suited to deal with complex disputes on large projects – so complex disputes will continue to arbitration or the courts.

What challenges are unique to disputes pertaining to large and complex P3 infrastructure projects?

Large and complex P3 infrastructure projects present many challenges. Their sheer scale means there are vast amounts of documents and records to manage and review, many witnesses to interview and numerous issues to address. Typically, these mega projects have many and often distinct parts. I find it necessary to break down large projects into their smaller sub-projects to understand the detail, and frequently step back to see how the parts fit in the bigger picture. It’s only when you understand the detail and the big picture that you can decide how to analyse the issues appropriately and present your opinions clearly.

How would you like to see your practice developing in the next five years?

We have established a strong team with a proven track record in Ontario. I would like to see us become more active across Canada with teams on the ground in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement has been training and mentoring young professionals to be experts and future leaders. I have worked with some incredibly bright and talented young professionals who have chosen construction dispute solutions as a career. It has been fantastic to see them learn, develop their skills and advance their careers.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christopher Larkin impresses market commentators with his remarkable facility for providing first-rate expert testimony in international arbitration proceedings. ​

Biography

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years' experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, data centres, building schemes, ship building projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Quantum and delay expert Christopher Larkin is "very knowledgeable and hard-working" according to impressed peers.

Biography

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years' experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, highways, building schemes, ship building projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has testified in a number of arbitrations. He has also acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christopher Larkin is a “first-rate expert witness” with over 25 years of experience within the construction industry and an outstanding international reputation.

Biography

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 27 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 20 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, data centres, building schemes, shipbuilding projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has given expert testimony on a number of international arbitrations. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on practical completion, liquidated damages, schedule analysis, FIDIC forms of contract, concurrent delays and extensions of time. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry publications.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christopher Larkin has decades of experience acting as a construction expert, and is a go-to player for disputes in delay, quantum and planning matters.

Biography

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, highways, building schemes, ship building projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has testified in a number of arbitrations. He has also acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

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