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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Dakus Gunn

Dakus Gunn

Delta Consulting Group4330 Prince William ParkwaySuite 301WoodbridgeVirginiaUSA22192

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Dakus Gunn is “extremely knowledgeable about construction” with clients stating that his “insights into the management of large projects outside the US are invaluable”.

Questions & Answers

Dakus Gunn grew up in the construction industry and has served as a consultant and testifying expert for nearly 20 years.  Mr Gunn currently provides expert testimony in the disciplines of delay, productivity and quantum analysis.  He has testified in multiple ICC arbitrations and US court proceedings, and consulted on numerous projects involving a wide variety of industries including transportation, hydroelectric, coal-fired and wind farm power plants; heavy civil projects including dams, tunnels bridges and roads; and onshore and offshore energy production facilities.

What has been your most interesting case to date, and why?

Using productivity analysis to facilitate delay and quantum analysis. Productivity analysis is a means by which we refute claims, validate schedules, substantiate damages, etc. During the past year, I have noticed a surge in cumulative impact claims. I have had the opportunity to execute these claims, as well as defend against them with increasing success because of our firm’s focus on being active practitioners and industry leaders in the productivity analysis field.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I enjoy working on truly difficult cases with a team of Delta experts. These are the cases where a client comes to us with a problem that no one else can solve. It is on these matters that we get to fully test our experience, knowledge and creativity to provide a realistic and supportable conclusion.

You have seen a rise in termination cases recently, especially in Latin America. Why is this the case?

Complex financing; contracts influenced by the laws of different nations; and political demands on the infrastructure and power industry have led to pressures on contractors to advance projects quickly. Many of these projects are being performed in regions for the first time, often in a place where they are training a labour force. This environment is ripe for disputes that accumulate until one party or another reaches an internal “termination” threshold.

Peers have identified a rise in joint venture construction projects in the US. How do you expect this to impact expert practice?

Our clients are interested in becoming more proactive in resolving complex disputes before they proceed to litigation. This requires our teams to be more varied, become immersed in the project quickly, and work to package the dispute in the right way to help resolve these issues proactively. This makes our experience in litigation, and our understanding of how companies fail to execute claims properly, highly desirable.

How does Delta Consulting Group distinguish itself from the competition?

Most of Delta’s competition has one or two testifiers that manage all the work with analysts and consultants beneath them. Delta is a firm comprised of about 20 testifiers, and what sets us apart is that we use a generational approach, whereby we train our personnel to become experts who are ready to respond to client requests with direct interaction. In using this method, we find that Delta’s work product is enriched, and we are always ready to respond to our clients’ needs with an added bonus that our people gain more exposure, training and confidence equipping them to spread their wings and see what they are capable of doing.

How has the rise of e-discovery platforms impacted practice?

Image load times and lack of identification cause a lot of difficulties for experts. Many times, we wait for several seconds for an image to load only to quickly realise that it is of no interest to us. This is an inefficiency that is difficult to overcome. GDPR compliance adds additional layers of complexity that we need to find quick and easy solutions for, considering the pressure to reduce arbitration timetables and increase efficiency.

Where, in your opinion, does the future of the practice area lie?

Expert firms are required to adapt to new types of projects and the demand for reduced dispute resolution timelines. This requires increased efficiency and adaptability in order to maintain the quality of our analyses. The firms with broad diversity in experience, perspective and cultures will increasingly become more attractive than the standard silo, single testifier firm because we can quickly mobilise incredibly capable and diverse professionals, instead of treading water until the expert is available.

You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I hope to continue to train and guide the next generation of experts in our firm to see them further our ideals in the industry. In addition, I would like to one day serve as a tribunal-appointed expert, as the ability to have a direct and open line of communication with the tribunal would be truly fascinating to me.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Dakus Gunn is “extremely knowledgeable about construction”, with clients stating that his “insights into the management of large projects outside the US is invaluable”.

Questions & Answers

Dakus Gunn grew up in the construction industry and has served as a consultant and testifying expert for nearly 20 years. Mr Gunn currently provides expert testimony in the disciplines of delay, productivity and quantum analysis. He has testified in multiple ICC Arbitrations and United States Court proceedings, and consulted on numerous projects involving a wide variety of industries including transportation, entertainment and sports arenas, onshore and offshore renewable/non-renewable energy production facilities, and military installations.

What attracted you to a career as a consultant and testifying expert?

The opportunity to work with a diverse field of intelligent professionals in an industry that is constantly innovating both technologically and contractually. Our work as experts is always being challenged and scrutinised from many different perspectives, and this environment forces me to continually learn and improve, and to see problems from many different points of view.

What motivated you to specialise in construction?

I grew up in the industry of heavy civil construction and land development. For me, it was a natural evolution to return to, and specialise in, an industry that I have been deeply involved with since childhood.

What is it about working in dispute resolution that you most enjoy?

The opportunity to conduct my work in an environment where we see some of the most complex and contentious aspects of business, finance, economics and construction. This provides me with an ever-evolving immersive challenge that forces me to be both a student (learning from the technical experts, lawyers and clients I am surrounded by) and a teacher (guiding the decision makers with analysis and experience).

What do clients look for in an effective testifying expert?

I find clients consistently appreciate three characteristics. First, an expert who absorbs the facts, data and documents of their dispute quickly and in great depth. Second, an expert who challenges and tests the theories of the case in order to offer a different perspective for counsel and executive management so they can make reasoned decisions going forward. Finally, someone who can distill the voluminous and extremely detailed analyses that we perform down to a simple message that can be easily understood by anyone.

How have labour disruptions and disputes impacted your practice?

Particularly in developing countries we are seeing a significant rise in labour disruption claims due to labour actions, requirements to use and train domestic labour forces, and engineering/procurement disruption claims. This has resulted in a noticeable surge in productivity and impact claims where no one simple event caused the dispute to arise, and instead it is a story of “death by a thousand cuts”. Analysis of this type requires a unique mixture of economics, statistics and knowledge of construction practices with only a few experts leading the field in how to perform credible and viable productivity analyses.

The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) recently launched the Emerald Book (Conditions of Contract for Underground Works). What effect do you think these new conditions of contract will have on the market?

The most common source of dispute that impacts construction projects relates to the geological and structural uncertainty of constructing a project at a geographical location. I see the FIDIC Emerald Book as the benchmark for risk sharing in projects involving underground works. My hope is that the concepts of sharing geological information and geotechnical baseline reports, encouraged in the Emerald Book, incentivise continued innovation in the construction industry – even for contracts not specifically related to underground works.

Sources highlight the increasing prominence of construction disputes stemming from the renewable energy sector. What challenges do you face when dealing with cases that involve new forms of energy production?

The rate of technological innovation in this sector is incredible. In addition to this, the incentives and political pressure to develop renewable energy production quickly, and using domestic labour and suppliers, is creating fertile ground for unique financing and contractual mechanisms. Therefore, it is no longer about finding an expert who has 40 years of experience in a certain type of construction, or an expert who applies a “one size fits all” approach to analysing delays or damages. Instead, it is about an expert who can learn and develop a deep understanding of the nuances and specific challenges of a project and then customise the analyses of delay and damages to that specific project and contract.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

The headmaster of my school once told us, “The first thing I ask myself when someone criticises me is, are they right?” I find that, as an independent expert, we must look beyond our egos, the advocacy and the rhetoric in dispute resolution, and seek out the essence of disagreements between parties and/or experts. When we remove the emotion, cut away the distractions and succinctly identify the true elements of disagreement, this is when we truly serve the trier of fact effectively.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Dakus Gunn is a prominent specialist on delay, quantum and productivity matters, principally in construction, infrastructure and energy cases.

Biography

Dakus Gunn, director of the Delta Consulting Group, has served as an expert in dispute resolution for over 17 years. He provides expert analysis, opinions and testimony in complex construction litigation and arbitration on numerous matters involving delay, damages and loss of productivity.

Mr Gunn’s experience spans a broad range of projects including international airports; energy and power (wind, hydroelectric, coal, oil and gas); transportation (light rail, bridge, and interstate construction; and multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects. His international experience includes disputes in Africa, Europe, South America, Middle East and Central America. Mr Gunn has provided expert analysis and/or testified in venues such as AAA Arbitration; ICC Arbitration; DIAC Arbitration; US federal and state courts; mediations; dispute adjudication boards; and other alternative dispute resolution venues.

He has provided expert opinions on complex delay analysis for projects including 700-acre land developments, international airports, urban high-rises, and major urban infrastructure projects. Mr Gunn has also presented damages to DCAA auditing authorities and provided numerous expert reports relating to damages on construction projects for owners, engineers, contractors and suppliers. He has also provided expert opinions and analysis on the loss of productivity for labour forces numbering in the thousands on projects such as two US$5 billion coal fire power plants in South Africa; a US$1 billion expansion of a Middle Eastern airport; and a US$457 million baseball stadium.

Mr Gunn has a BSc in economics, and a BSc in brain and cognitive science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Delta Consulting Group is an international consulting firm of multidisciplined professionals in engineering, accounting, construction, project management and litigation support.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

The “very professional” Dakus Gunn is renowned for consistently doing an “outstanding job” in quantum and delay analysis.

Biography

Dakus Gunn, senior director of Delta Consulting Group, has served as an expert in dispute resolution for over 18 years. He provides expert analysis, opinions and testimony in complex construction litigation and arbitration on numerous matters involving delay, damages and loss of productivity.

Mr Gunn’s experience spans a broad diversity of projects including international airports, energy and power industry (wind, hydroelectric, coal, oil and gas); transportation (light rail, bridge, and interstate construction); and multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects. His international experience includes disputes in Africa, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Central America. Mr Gunn has provided expert analysis and/or testified in venues such as AAA Arbitration, ICC Arbitration, DIAC Arbitration, United States federal and state courts, mediations, dispute adjudication boards, and other alternative dispute resolution venues.

He has provided expert opinions on complex delay analysis for projects including 700-acre land developments, international airports, urban high-rises and major urban infrastructure projects. Mr Gunn has presented damages to DCAA auditing authorities and provided numerous expert reports relating to damages on construction projects for owners, engineers, contractors and suppliers. He has also provided expert opinions and analysis on the loss of productivity for labour forces on projects numbering in the thousands, such as two US$5 billion coal fire power plants in South Africa, a US$1 billion expansion of a Middle Eastern airport, and a US$457 million baseball stadium.

Mr Gunn has a BSc in economics, and a BSc in brain and cognitive science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Delta Consulting Group is an international consulting firm of multidisciplined professionals in engineering, accounting, construction, project management and litigation support.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Dakus Gunn is commended for his “excellent poise during cross examination” and “ability to process a significant amount of data”.

Biography

Dakus Gunn, director of the Delta Consulting Group, has served as an expert in dispute resolution for over 17 years. He provides expert analysis, opinions and testimony in complex construction litigation and arbitration on numerous matters involving delay, damages and loss of productivity.

Mr Gunn’s experience spans a broad range of projects including international airports; energy and power (wind, hydroelectric, coal, oil and gas); transportation (light rail, bridge, and interstate construction; and multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects. His international experience includes disputes in Africa, Europe, South America, Middle East and Central America. Mr Gunn has provided expert analysis and/or testified in venues such as AAA Arbitration; ICC Arbitration; DIAC Arbitration; US federal and state courts; mediations; dispute adjudication boards; and other alternative dispute resolution venues.

He has provided expert opinions on complex delay analysis for projects including 700-acre land developments, international airports, urban high-rises, and major urban infrastructure projects. Mr Gunn has also presented damages to DCAA auditing authorities and provided numerous expert reports relating to damages on construction projects for owners, engineers, contractors and suppliers. He has also provided expert opinions and analysis on the loss of productivity for labour forces numbering in the thousands on projects such as two US$5 billion coal fire power plants in South Africa; a US$1 billion expansion of a Middle Eastern airport; and a US$457 million baseball stadium.

Mr Gunn has a BSc in economics, and a BSc in brain and cognitive science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Delta Consulting Group is an international consulting firm of multidisciplined professionals in engineering, accounting, construction, project management and litigation support.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Dakus Gunn is held in high esteem by sources who commend his in-depth knowledge of the case, adding he is “highly focused on the details”.

Biography

Dakus Gunn, director of the Delta Consulting Group, has served as an expert in dispute resolution for over 17 years. He provides expert analysis, opinions and testimony in complex construction litigation and arbitration on numerous matters involving delay, damages and loss of productivity.

Mr Gunn’s experience spans a broad range of projects including international airports; energy and power (wind, hydroelectric, coal, oil and gas); transportation (light rail, bridge, and interstate construction; and multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects. His international experience includes disputes in Africa, Europe, South America, Middle East and Central America. Mr Gunn has provided expert analysis and/or testified in venues such as AAA Arbitration; ICC Arbitration; DIAC Arbitration; US federal and state courts; mediations; dispute adjudication boards; and other alternative dispute resolution venues.

He has provided expert opinions on complex delay analysis for projects including 700-acre land developments, international airports, urban high-rises, and major urban infrastructure projects. Mr Gunn has also presented damages to DCAA auditing authorities and provided numerous expert reports relating to damages on construction projects for owners, engineers, contractors and suppliers. He has also provided expert opinions and analysis on the loss of productivity for labour forces numbering in the thousands on projects such as two US$5 billion coal fire power plants in South Africa; a US$1 billion expansion of a Middle Eastern airport; and a US$457 million baseball stadium.

Mr Gunn has a BSc in economics, and a BSc in brain and cognitive science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Delta Consulting Group is an international consulting firm of multidisciplined professionals in engineering, accounting, construction, project management and litigation support.

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