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Jon Prudhoe

Jon Prudhoe

Ankura460 Alexandra Road22-05 PSA buildingSingaporeSingapore119963

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe is a world-leading expert on quantum and delay issues with a sensational track record of appointments in high-value construction, infrastructure, marine and natural resources disputes.

Questions & Answers

Jon Prudhoe has over 35 years of professional experience in the construction and engineering sector. Based in Asia for close to 20 years, he is one of the few experts, worldwide, equally capable of opining on matters of quantum and delay. With an extensive portfolio of expert appointments, including many of APAC’s high-profile and complex disputes, Jon’s experience in numerous sectors around the globe has made him one of the region’s most highly sought-after construction experts.

What do you enjoy most about your role as an expert witness in contentious proceedings?

What I enjoy most is the variety of disputes that I am involved with. Currently I’m appointed on matters arising on large infrastructure projects, power and process plants, retail developments, resource projects, ship repair, and conversion disputes. 

I also find that analysing and finding a way to present complex issues in a clear and concise manner often brings the most satisfaction. My role allows me to make observations and offer opinions on technical matters that provide the decision maker with the best opportunity to reach the “right” answer to the dispute. In contentious proceedings, this will involve working with the opposing expert to reach agreements based on well-explained, reasoned conclusions. A robust analysis that is thorough and well presented always assists the process of reaching an agreement.

Which key qualities and attributes do effective expert witnesses need to possess?

In addition to obvious qualities such as honesty, integrity and tenacity, the expert must have sound technical knowledge and specific experience that is relevant to the dispute. 

To be effective, the expert must be open-minded and ready to consider alternative methodologies to those on which their own opinions are based. After having taken into account opposing opinions, the expert needs to be confident in his or her findings in order to deal with the intense scrutiny of cross-examination. An effective expert needs to be able to remain calm when giving evidence, and this is only possible if they are well prepared before the hearing and know every aspect of their report thoroughly, so they aren’t caught off guard.

How has your role as a construction expert changed since you started practising?

The fundamental role hasn’t changed, which is to explain technical matters within my expertise in a way that allows the court or tribunal to understand the facts and issues of a matter. What has changed is the manner in which I fulfil my role. Construction programmes are no longer relatively simple bar charts, with few activities, that can be analysed manually. The complexity of programmes, and the vast amount of data that’s involved in today’s projects, means an expert needs to be adept at using sophisticated technology. 

What can expert witnesses do to assist tribunals in understanding the reasons for the gaps between different quantum figures they propose?

Gaps arise mainly due to differences in assumptions, source documents, calculation methodologies and lawyers’ instructions. The expert needs to segregate the gaps into categories and provide a breakdown of the figures making up the gap. This enables the expert to provide a reasoned commentary to assist the tribunal’s understanding of the gaps. 

What procedural issues in arbitration do you see arising from covid-19 where the majority of participants continue to live under lockdown?

The main issue is the inability to have participants attend oral hearings when a determination cannot be made on documents alone. Tribunals are keen to promote virtual hearing as the lockdowns and travel restrictions continue. Even before the covid-19 pandemic, I was cross-examined by video conference where the tribunal was located in India and I was in Singapore. This worked well. However, even this can be difficult where parties and experts are based in time zones with large differences, for example, the USA and Singapore. I feel it would be inappropraite to hear evidence from a witness at three o’clock in the morning.

How is Singapore’s growth as a centre for alternative dispute resolution impacting arbitration practice in the region?

I don’t believe that Singapore’s growth as a centre for ADR has had a material impact on arbitration practice across the region. Arbitration continues to thrive, and Singapore’s legal system offers a diversified range of dispute resolution options. Arbitration and ADR therefore exist as complementary dispute resolution techniques.

If you could implement one reform in international arbitration, what would it be?

Rather than comment on a reform, I would like to see a procedural implementation: that tribunals insist on the parties agreeing in advance on the issues that need to be addressed. If the parties cannot agree on all the issues, then the tribunal should insist the parties set out the issues that are agreed/disagreed to be addressed by the experts. This will avoid “ships passing in the night” where opinions are given on slightly different issues. 

What challenges do the next generation of expert witnesses face and how can they prepare for them?

First and foremost, to be an expert witness they would need to gain substantial experience in their chosen profession and be recognised as a good practitioner. They must also be prepared to maintain their experience and knowledge of accepted practices of their profession during their expert career. 

Assisting experienced experts is the way most will start to gain experience. A key challenge is obtaining that first expert appointment. With an appropriate level of exposure to lawyers in a supporting role, a “rising star” can demonstrate their capabilities. This can give lawyers the confidence to consider them for future appointments. My advice would be to start off on the smaller, less complex matters and gradually build up a portfolio.

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe has “deep experience, particularly on quantum issues” and is highly rated for his market-leading industry knowledge.

Questions & Answers

Jon Prudhoe has over 35 years of professional experience in the construction and engineering sector. Based in Asia for close to 20 years, he is one of the few experts, worldwide, equally capable of opining on matters of quantum and delay. With an extensive portfolio of expert appointments, including many of APAC’s high profile and complex disputes, Jon’s experience in numerous sectors around the globe has made him one of the region’s most highly sought-after construction experts.
What is the most interesting brief you have had to date, and why?
It would be difficult to select just one. As you might expect, the most interesting tend to be the most challenging disputes. Investigating what initially seems to be a myriad of problems and sifting out the most significant issues to focus on is something I particularly enjoy. I find issues involving new technology and innovative construction or engineering methods very interesting too. One matter that sticks in my mind is a quantum expert appointment for a shipyard where the yard thought it was faced with a significant claim for damages when, in fact when I reviewed it I could see that when taking into account particular circumstances, the claim was in fact a negative figure (it was not a counterclaim at all but an advantage the other party had gained). The yard was able to use this to settle the dispute before the hearing. Input to a dispute that results in settlement before a hearing is always rewarding. I have had a few other engagements like this.
In what ways has your experience of roles on both the contracting and consulting sides of the construction industry enhanced your practice?
I spent 15 years in construction practice before moving into consulting. Even as a consultant I continued to work on live projects. This is important to keep abreast of developments in the industry. There is a tendency these days for some experts to only focus on expert witness work.  There are some delay experts who have little or no first-hand construction industry experience – and it shows under cross-examination. Analysing complex delay issues shouldn’t just revolve around programme analysis. It requires sound practical and technical knowledge of the construction and engineering involved to properly understand the various sequences of work and challenges in the project.
What is the key to delivering successful testimony as a quantum and delay expert in high-profile disputes?
High-profile disputes are generally the more complex, large-value disputes. Whilst I’m equally comfortable opining on matters of delay and quantum, I try not to take on both roles on large disputes. In either role, the key to delivering successful robust testimony is preparation. If an expert is well prepared, then there should be no surprises. I can anticipate many of the questions that will be raised in the hearing and know my report sufficiently to confidently deal with anything that does crop up whilst I’m on the stand.
How do you think the covid-19 pandemic will impact the work of quantum and delay experts in the future?
As a result of covid-19, we’re already seeing problems arising due to delayed construction projects so it is likely that there’ll be more disputes. The main impact for the foreseeable future for experts, in any field, is the inability to attend oral hearings anywhere other than their base location. Even that might not be achievable in some countries. Many international arbitrations are held in Singapore so hopefully limited impact for the experts based here. However, I have hearings in India and Australia this year which will need to be conducted by video conference.
Looking back over your career, what has been your proudest achievement?
Seeing people whom I have engaged and been assisted by early in their careers develop into excellent experts in their own right. I’m currently working with the best team in our APAC offices that I’ve ever had and I’m proud of saying so.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
An uninterrupted vacation!

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe is a world-leading expert on quantum and delay issues with a sensational track record of appointments in high-value construction, infrastructure, marine and natural resources disputes.

Biography

Jon Prudhoe is a senior managing director at Ankura with an expertise in construction. Based in Asia for the past 17 years, he is one of the few experts, worldwide, equally capable of opining on matters of quantum and delay. He holds an extensive portfolio of expert appointments, including many of APAC’s most high profile and complex disputes.

Jon has over 35 years of experience in onshore and offshore oil and gas, marine, shipbuilding, petrochemical, infrastructure, transportation, utility, building and civil engineering projects throughout the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe, USA, South America and Africa. His depth and extent of technical knowledge in all these sectors, combined with his robust testifying experience means he is one of APAC's most highly sought-after construction experts.

Jon has been instructed on over 90 expert witness appointments including matters such as construction contract terminations; evaluation of changed work; quantum of damages as well as matters relating to delay, acceleration, disruption and loss of productivity, extension of time (EOT) claims and assessment of concurrent delays.

Jon has given evidence in arbitration hearings under ICC, SIAC, SCMA, DIAC, HKIAC, SCC, KLRCA, UNCITRAL and LCIA rules and court and arbitration proceedings in Singapore, UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, UAE and Sweden. He is well versed in giving oral evidence under cross-examination in litigation and arbitration proceedings including expert witness conferencing (hot-tubbing).

His experience also includes several appointments as expert determiner as well as full-term and ad-hoc dispute board appointments.

Previous roles have been held on both sides of the construction industry, having worked for contracting and consulting organisations and he continues to provide contract advice on live projects.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe has “deep experience, particularly on quantum issues” and is highly rated for his market-leading industry knowledge.

Biography

Jon Prudhoe is a senior managing director at Ankura with an expertise in construction. Based in Asia for the past 17 years, he is one of the few experts, worldwide, equally capable of opining on matters of quantum and delay. He holds an extensive portfolio of expert appointments, including many of APAC’s most high profile and complex disputes.

Jon has over 35 years of experience in onshore and offshore oil and gas, marine, shipbuilding, petrochemical, infrastructure, transportation, utility, building, and civil engineering projects throughout Asia- Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the USA, South America and Africa. His depth and extent of technical knowledge in all these sectors, combined with his robust testifying experience, means he is one of APAC’s most highly sought-after construction experts.

Jon has been instructed on over 90 expert witness appointments including matters such as construction contract terminations; evaluation of changed work; quantum of damages; matters relating to delay, acceleration, disruption and loss of productivity; extension of time (EOT) claims; and assessment of concurrent delays.

Jon has given evidence in arbitration hearings under ICC, SIAC, SCMA, DIAC, HKIAC, SCC, KLRCA, UNCITRAL and LCIA rules, and court and arbitration proceedings in Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, the UAE and Sweden. He is well versed in giving oral evidence under cross-examination in litigation and arbitration proceedings including expert witness conferencing (hot-tubbing).

His experience also includes several appointments as expert determiner as well as full-term and ad hoc dispute board appointments.

Previous roles have been held on both sides of the construction industry, having worked for contracting and consulting organisations and he continues to provide contract advice on live projects.

A selection of Jon’s engagements includes acting as member of dispute review board panel on a major gas pipeline project in Australia; and expert determiner in a dispute between and FPSO operator and a contractor on a performance bond dispute. In a jackup rig conversion project, he provided expert evidence on the causes of delay to substantiate an EOT claim and valuation of disputed variation orders as well as disruption and accelerations costs; and in a geothermal power station project in the Philippines, he acted for turbine installation contractor in termination dispute, provided expert opinion on causes and extent of delay as well as quantum of claims.

Jon has also provided opinion on quantum and termination claims in respect of the dredging works related to a land reclamation project in Malaysia; provided quantum and delay expert opinion on matters of delay, disruption, and acceleration relating to the foundation works in a high-rise residential development project in Hong Kong; been appointed as quantum and delay expert in a dispute between main contractor and roof steelwork sub-contractor in a new airport terminal project in Singapore; and been appointed delay expert to opine on the extent of delay arising from a contractor’s termination on a petrochemical plant project in India.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe has a stellar reputation for “effectively combining a helicopter view with a mastery of details” in “top-tier disputes”. He is “one of the best quantum experts in the market” who always brings a “mastery of knowledge and clarity of opinion”. 

Biography

Jon Prudhoe is a senior managing director at Ankura with an expertise in construction. Based in Asia for the past 17 years, he is one of the few experts, worldwide, equally capable of opining on matters of quantum and delay. He holds an extensive portfolio of expert appointments, including many of APAC’s most high profile and complex disputes.

Jon has over 35 years of experience in onshore and offshore oil and gas, marine, shipbuilding, petrochemical, infrastructure, transportation, utility, building, and civil engineering projects throughout Asia- Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the USA, South America and Africa. His depth and extent of technical knowledge in all these sectors, combined with his robust testifying experience, means he is one of APAC’s most highly sought-after construction experts.

Jon has been instructed on over 90 expert witness appointments including matters such as construction contract terminations; evaluation of changed work; quantum of damages; matters relating to delay, acceleration, disruption and loss of productivity; extension of time (EOT) claims; and assessment of concurrent delays.

Jon has given evidence in arbitration hearings under ICC, SIAC, SCMA, DIAC, HKIAC, SCC, KLRCA, UNCITRAL and LCIA rules, and court and arbitration proceedings in Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, the UAE and Sweden. He is well versed in giving oral evidence under cross-examination in litigation and arbitration proceedings including expert witness conferencing (hot-tubbing).

His experience also includes several appointments as expert determiner as well as full-term and ad hoc dispute board appointments.

Previous roles have been held on both sides of the construction industry, having worked for contracting and consulting organisations and he continues to provide contract advice on live projects.

A selection of Jon’s engagements includes acting as member of dispute review board panel on a major gas pipeline project in Australia; and expert determiner in a dispute between and FPSO operator and a contractor on a performance bond dispute. In a jackup rig conversion project, he provided expert evidence on the causes of delay to substantiate an EOT claim and valuation of disputed variation orders as well as disruption and accelerations costs; and in a geothermal power station project in the Philippines, he acted for turbine installation contractor in termination dispute, provided expert opinion on causes and extent of delay as well as quantum of claims.

Jon has also provided opinion on quantum and termination claims in respect of the dredging works related to a land reclamation project in Malaysia; provided quantum and delay expert opinion on matters of delay, disruption, and acceleration relating to the foundation works in a high-rise residential development project in Hong Kong; been appointed as quantum and delay expert in a dispute between main contractor and roof steelwork sub-contractor in a new airport terminal project in Singapore; and been appointed delay expert to opine on the extent of delay arising from a contractor’s termination on a petrochemical plant project in India.

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