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Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

The established Franco Mastrandrea is a “well-known quantum expert”, recognised for his great depth of knowledge and experience in mediation, arbitration and adjudication.

Questions & Answers

Over 35 years of experience in construction, including as expert witness on project management, delay, and quantum disputes. Franco has given evidence in court and at arbitration in relation to many substantial international construction disputes. He is a chartered quantity surveyor, holds a degree in law, a master’s degree in project management, and a doctorate in the evaluation of construction contractors’ claims. As dispute resolver, Franco regularly acts as mediator, adjudicator, expert determiner, or arbitrator.
How has the role of construction expert changed since you first started practising?
Experts are consulted earlier; often, and increasingly, in an advisory, reality testing, capacity.
Whilst domestically in the UK it has been the position for many years, it is increasingly accepted internationally that the expert witness is expected to be impartial, independent, and objective.
Tribunals are engaging with expert witnesses more proactively and knowledgeably, directing them to explore common ground early, agree as much as possible, and to focus on the Tribunal’s needs.
What are the best ways of remaining impartial and independent when providing analysis and testimony?
Resist pressure from those clients or those instructing you for a protagonist’s or sympathetic view of their case. Resist or temper instructions which seek to constrain your expressing a complete or objective view. Identify lacuna in the material you have been asked to process. Ask yourself whether you have considered all relevant material. Review and revise your opinions in the light of new or more persuasive data.
How can parties carefully manage conflicts of interests when appointing expert witnesses in international construction disputes?
Be aware at an early stage of the broader context of any matter on which an expert may be instructed. Distinguish between the role of advising and testifying expert; keep the roles separate and erect appropriate and effective ethical walls between them. As an organisation, particularly those with an international footprint, avoid proffering experts to act both for and against the same organisation on the same project. For those organisations that do decide nevertheless to provide experts to act in that dual capacity, do so only with the fully informed consent of both parties to the dispute.
Experts have noticed an increased use of adjudication in the construction sector recently. Why do you think adjudication is being used more widely across the world and what effect will this have on the work of experts and the sector as a whole?
Adjudication has been very successful in resolving construction disputes quickly and effectively, with few disputes being taken beyond an adjudicator’s decision and reducing pressure on the courts. Its success has prompted its wider use geographically than in the UK where its statutory use was promulgated, and increasingly consensually. There is a marked use of experts in the adjudication process. The adjudicator may be expert in a relevant area of dispute, in which case the role of party appointed experts may be circumscribed/more focussed. The effective management/inquisitorial powers of the adjudicator are/may more often be critical to success of the process.
Have you observed increased levels of cooperation between parties as a result of covid-19. Do you think this will continue in the future?
Yes. Parties realise that they are often dealing with something which they had not anticipated, and for which the contract did not cater. The parties increasingly recognise the challenges and the need to solve problems collectively. Because of the uncertainties involved, the parties increasingly hold back from precipitative action and are more amenable to collaboration to seek a mutually beneficial way of working, involving greater engagement with the problems presented, and collaborative actions to accommodate or overcome them. There is good reason to hope that this will act as a spur to a new normal of better and more sustained cooperation in the future.   
How does HKA stand out from its competitors in the market?
It is able to locate, bring together, and build, on a project by project basis, a wide range of expert disciplines, comprising experts from around the globe drawing on committed professionals holding common and consistent core values.
What challenges do you face with the increased volume of data being used in disputes?
Specifying, identifying, locating, assembling, and processing that data in an efficient, multi-user, effectively communicated way.
What advice would you give to younger experts hoping one day to be in your position?
Work in a challenging environment; surround yourself with ethical, committed fellow professionals; find a great mentor; be inquisitive; challenge yourself; keep learning. 

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"He is a highly respected expert"
"Franco takes a constructive approach as an opposing expert"
"Excellent - a really extraordinary witness"

Biography

Franco is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Chartered Arbitrator with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. He has acted as expert on more than 50 international project management, delay and quantum-related disputes.

Franco’s expert commissions cover a wide range of industries including oil and gas in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, North Africa and South East Asia; transport infrastructure in the Caribbean and the UK; power generation, from CCGT to windfarms, in the UK; and numerous building and infrastructure projects around the world.

Franco is widely regarded as an expert who is both well qualified and highly experienced in complex construction issues. He is able to effectively identify the key issues of principle in construction appraisal disputes and provide clients with greater clarity as to project performance. Franco combines management, construction and legal knowledge enabling him to deliver balanced opinions on the performance of those involved in those projects, and objective appraisals of the appropriate or likely outcomes.

From London to Australia and Canada to Antarctica, Franco has extensive and diverse dispute resolution expertise. With an established record in drafting, interpreting and applying commercial terms in contracts, he successfully combines both knowledge and experience under traditional cross-examination and hot-tubbing.

Franco holds a doctorate that addresses the law, practice and quantification of construction claims; is a CEDR accredited mediator; appears on the RICS register of Dispute Board Members and the FIDIC President’s list of adjudicators; he is a Chartered Arbitrator and appears on arbitrator lists maintained by RICS and international arbitration centres in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has written extensively on the evaluation of construction claims and is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Construction 2016 as a ‘distinguished expert’ who is ‘an unflappable witness that stands up well to cross-examination’.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

“Franco is one of the best in the field”
“He is a seasoned and respected quantum expert who regularly acts as adjudicator and arbitrator"
"He is a fabulous mentor for the next generation of quantum experts”

Biography

Franco is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Chartered Arbitrator with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. He has acted as expert on more than 50 international project management, delay and quantum-related disputes.

Franco’s expert commissions cover a wide range of industries including oil and gas in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, North Africa and South East Asia; transport infrastructure in the Caribbean and the UK; power generation, from CCGT to windfarms, in the UK; and numerous building and infrastructure projects around the world.

Franco is widely regarded as an expert who is both well qualified and highly experienced in complex construction issues. He is able to effectively identify the key issues of principle in construction appraisal disputes and provide clients with greater clarity as to project performance. Franco combines management, construction and legal knowledge enabling him to deliver balanced opinions on the performance of those involved in those projects, and objective appraisals of the appropriate or likely outcomes.

From London to Australia and Canada to Antarctica, Franco has extensive and diverse dispute resolution expertise. With an established record in drafting, interpreting and applying commercial terms in contracts, he successfully combines both knowledge and experience under traditional cross-examination and hot-tubbing.

Franco holds a doctorate that addresses the law, practice and quantification of construction claims; is a CEDR accredited mediator; appears on the RICS register of Dispute Board Members and the FIDIC President’s list of adjudicators; he is a Chartered Arbitrator and appears on arbitrator lists maintained by RICS and international arbitration centres in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has written extensively on the evaluation of construction claims and is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Construction 2016 as a ‘distinguished expert’ who is ‘an unflappable witness that stands up well to cross-examination’.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Franco Mastrandrea is an established figure in the construction industry, delivering top-tier analysis on construction appraisal disputes and quantum-related issues.

Biography

Franco is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Chartered Arbitrator with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. He has acted as expert on more than 50 international project management, delay and quantum-related disputes.

Franco’s expert commissions cover a wide range of industries including oil and gas in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, North Africa and South East Asia; transport infrastructure in the Caribbean and the UK; power generation, from CCGT to windfarms, in the UK; and numerous building and infrastructure projects around the world.

Franco is widely regarded as an expert who is both well qualified and highly experienced in complex construction issues. He is able to effectively identify the key issues of principle in construction appraisal disputes and provide clients with greater clarity as to project performance. Franco combines management, construction and legal knowledge enabling him to deliver balanced opinions on the performance of those involved in those projects, and objective appraisals of the appropriate or likely outcomes.

From London to Australia and Canada to Antarctica, Franco has extensive and diverse dispute resolution expertise. With an established record in drafting, interpreting and applying commercial terms in contracts, he successfully combines both knowledge and experience under traditional cross-examination and hot-tubbing.

Franco holds a doctorate that addresses the law, practice and quantification of construction claims; is a CEDR accredited mediator; appears on the RICS register of Dispute Board Members and the FIDIC President’s list of adjudicators; he is a Chartered Arbitrator and appears on arbitrator lists maintained by RICS and international arbitration centres in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has written extensively on the evaluation of construction claims and is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Construction 2016 as a ‘distinguished expert’ who is ‘an unflappable witness that stands up well to cross-examination’.

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