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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.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

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: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jon Prudhoe has an “excellent reputation” for his quantum and delay expertise and significant knowledge of extension of time, acceleration and loss of productivity claims.

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, 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 APACs 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.

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