Marianne C Ramey is the founding member and president of Project Advisors International, LLC. As a registered professional engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry, her expertise includes programming (scheduling) application in managing design and construction projects. Her experience focuses on infrastructure (power, transit, highways, tunnels and process plants) and specialty building projects. She consults on projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the US.
What attracted you to a career as a forensic analysis expert?
Investigating projects, establishing changes to their planned construction sequence and their causes, and quantifying the resultant impact on contract milestones combines a variety of skills I have acquired over the course of my career. Relevant skills include understanding the process and sequence of design and construction, expertise in planning and programming, knowledge of the application of contractual requirements, and expert report writing. It was a natural progression.
What has been your most interesting case to date?
All the projects I work on are interesting. One that stands out was a first-of-its-kind, highly technologically advanced megaproject. The delays were massive, more than doubling the contract period to build. It involved a complex interaction of engineering, procurement, approval and construction issues. The documentation and technical inputs were massive. Confidentiality was a big concern, even between the appointing party and its own experts, restricting information access. The arbitration was held over a number of years in tranches, with seven programming and delay expert reports prepared over a seven-year period within the context of complex schedules with nearly 100,000 activities each.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
Being the appointed programming and delay expert on some of the world’s most prestigious projects is a privilege and a continued source of new knowledge and growth, and the best motivation for high performance. I enjoy applying my experience in the interests of helping clients have a clear understanding of the programming and delay-related facts of their case, and guiding them through the intricacies of dispute resolution procedures.
As the founding member of Project Advisors International, what are your priorities for the firm’s development?
Project Advisors International (PAI) was founded on the principles of change agility and, almost 20 years on, it continues to be my top priority. We stay flexible and adaptable in the ever-changing globalised world of business, always rethinking how we approach the way we do things. This enables the firm to adapt quickly to market changes, and the needs of our projects, clients and staff. It also enables the firm to operate competitively for both our clients and people.
In addition, the elevation of PAI’s professionals to testifying experts, working independently of me and applying the techniques, methods and approaches we have developed over the many years working together is one of my top priorities.
What is the greatest challenge forensic delay analysts face in the next three years?
Project-record availability has been and is expected to remain, at least for the next three years, the greatest challenge we face in our work as forensic delay analysts. Record-keeping varies greatly on projects and is not region-specific; however, there are general trends. In some cases, detailed records are not kept at the early stages of the project when the parties are hoping to resolve issues amicably. Often, project records are not archived in a document management system or using consistent and structured file names, and are nearly irretrievable without assistance from the client. Records are essential to establishing what was known by the parties at any particular point in time, which is needed to assess the reasons for the impacts to the project. Project programmes are almost always updated in an imperfect manner, which requires intervention to make them suitable for use in the forensic delay analysis. The adjustments made during the forensic analysis then become a subject of, generally, undue scrutiny, distracting from the real issues of establishing the logical explanation for the delays experienced.
How has your role as the international liaison officer for the Society of Construction Law North America enhanced your practice?
Although based in North America, the majority of my work is outside this region. Holding the international liaison officer role for the Society of Construction Law North America enables me to bridge the topics important to other jurisdictions with those important in North America. Collaboration with other professionals in the field enables me to give back to the international construction community through information sharing and educational opportunities.
How do you prepare to provide expert testimony in ICC proceedings?
The basis of my preparation is the detailed re-reading of my reports and those of the opposing expert. Going over my analysis, the focus is on recalling my thought processes at the time when preparing my reports, which in most cases is one or more years before the hearing is held.
A didactic presentation for the Tribunal before cross-examination is now the norm in ICC proceedings, and requires synthesising my reports to their essential points, which assists in focusing my preparation.
You have had a very distinguished career to date. What would you like to achieve that you have not already?
I am developing tools for good programming practices and using alternative dispute resolution processes during project performance, with the goal of providing certainty to the project parties on the time for completion of the project. In other words, resolving time-related issues as the project proceeds to replace implementation of inefficient and disruptive accelerative regimes, which drive up project costs and are rarely successful in recovering the delays incurred.
Marianne Ramey is a well-respected quantum and delay specialist who possesses over 25 years of experience in the construction and engineering industry.
Marianne Ramey is the founding member and president of Project Advisors International, and has worked on some of the world’s the largest construction and engineering projects.
Ms Ramey has provided independent expert testimony on extensions of time, delay, acceleration and disruption on over 50 projects under ICC, UNCITRAL and SIAC rules in court or arbitration proceedings in Europe, Asia and the US.
Ms Ramey provides advice to owners, contractors, engineers, legal teams and other associated project members on the project controls for large and capital-intensive civil construction projects across the world. She specialises in the assessment of programmes, preparation and maintenance of detailed programmes for all phases of work, construction dispute resolution, suitability of delay analysis methodologies, evaluation of claims, project controls, contract solutions, programme and project management. She also advises on management policies and procedures to comply with specialised contract requirements, while also creating and detailing alternative solutions to overcome problems impacting project delivery.
Ms Ramey is a registered professional engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry. She has consulted on projects globally, including power plants, process plants, transit systems, airports, motorways and interchanges, marine and canal projects, oil refineries, sports facilities, hospitals, hotels and speciality building projects.
Ms Ramey is the international liaison officer for the Society of Construction Law North America, and a contributing author to The SCL Delay and Disruption Protocol (second edition). She is a member of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.