Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
New to Who's Who Legal?
New to Who's Who Legal?
Menu
User Menu
New to Who's Who Legal?
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Michael Tonkin

Michael Tonkin

HKAOffice 1406, 14th FloorMarina Plaza, Dubai MarinaDubaiUnited Arab EmiratesP.O. Box 31450

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Michael Tonkin is a "leading figure" for providing quantum analysis in major construction disputes.

Questions & Answers

Michael Tonkin BSc, PGDipArb, FRICS, FCIArb, FCIOB, FDBF, MAE, CArb is a chartered quantity surveyor, chartered arbitrator, CEDR accredited mediator, RICS accredited expert witness and testifying expert witness in quantum with 30 years of experience in the construction industry. He leads HKA’s Expert Services practice for the Middle East, Asia & Africa and has been instructed as an expert more than 25 times. Michael has also been appointed as Arbitrator on more than 60 occasions.

What qualities should clients look for when selecting an effective construction expert?

Clients often have their own views as to what attributes Experts should have, and those views may be influenced from a combination of experience, perception, culture or something else. Perhaps the most obvious requirements clients should look for is technical/specialist knowledge, experience and qualifications. Clients should ensure that their Experts have current knowledge of developments in their field to ensure that the opinions offered are based on knowledge and experience that is up to date.

Two further useful attributes an Expert can possess, and Clients can look for, are strong presentation skills (both written and oral) and confidence. 

Clients should also look for sincerity, as an arbitral tribunal is likely to place more weight on the evidence of Experts who are open, who are honest, who conduct themselves with integrity and who appear to be genuinely attempting to provide the assistance that the arbitral tribunal requires.

In addition, Clients should look for an Expert who clearly understands the role of an Expert, the purpose and limitations of this role, and how this role should be delivered. 

How do you prepare for your role as a quantum expert in international arbitrations?

Preparation starts from day one, the date of your appointment. This includes understanding your instructions, considering how best you can assist the tribunal and, importantly, securing the right team to assist you.  

Preparation for the hearing starts much earlier than some may think and an expert should never stop considering the issues until the matter has concluded.

What impact has the development of technology had on the practice of construction consulting in recent years?

Technology has advanced to a level that would have been unimaginable when I was starting out in my career. Like every walk of life, technology has worked its way into the construction industry and offers exciting new possibilities. At the same time it has changed the traditional role of a quantity surveyor almost beyond recognition — no longer are the main tools of our trade a pile of paper drawings, a scale rule and “cut and shuffle” paper (for those who can remember that!). In my current role, I consider that one of the most important developments in technology have been document sharing and management. Given that the expert can often be provided with thousands of documents, the ability to share, sort, file and search these in an efficient manner is of huge assistance. Virtual hearings are now also becoming more common particularly given the current pandemic. I have given evidence twice by virtual means, once prior to the pandemic and once during the pandemic and the quality now is noticeably better.

How do you expect the Middle-East construction market to develop over the next five years?

That’s an interesting question and, given the ongoing economic impacts of covid-19, one that is harder to answer now than it may have been six months ago. Thankfully I think that construction is one of the sectors that will be least negatively impacted as a consequence of the pandemic but that of course depends on how long the pandemic remains.  

Looking back over your career, what has been your proudest achievement?

Not an easy question as I have enjoyed so much of what I have done. I think I am probably most proud of getting myself into an environment where I can interact with so many like-minded and highly experienced professionals. I have generally found that other professionals in the industry are willing to engage, to disseminate knowledge and experience, and to try to improve and promote our respective industries. I like to think I have done at least my fair share of that. The time I have spent with others promoting and training budding experts and arbitrators also makes me very proud.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Tonkin is a "leading figure" for providing quantum analysis in major construction disputes.

Biography

Michael is a chartered quantity surveyor, chartered arbitrator, CEDR-accredited mediator and RICS accredited expert witness with over 30 years of construction industry experience. He is an effective dispute resolver and has acted as quantum expert on more than 25 occasions.

Michael has extensive experience of commercial negotiations in major projects, particularly where bespoke contracts and innovative methods of procurement have been used. With a background in cost management, he specialises in commercial management, contract management, negotiation, risk management, third-party financial reporting and strategic advice. His project experience ranges from major infrastructure and buildings across the Middle East, the UK and Asia; power and water in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe; and oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Australasia.

Michael regularly provides commercial advice on formal dispute resolution, dispute avoidance and procurement. He is adept in many of the major standard forms of contract and has been employed by government bodies, large private companies, contractors and subcontractors to advise on commercial matters and procurement.

Michael has been a party-appointed expert witness, a single joint expert witness and a third-party expert evaluator. He has given oral testimony in traditional cross-examination as well as concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing) in international arbitrations, in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. Michael often acts as “coordinating expert” across several disciplines of expert.

Michael has been appointed as arbitrator on more than 60 occasions (as sole arbitrator, chairman of a tribunal of three, and co-arbitrator) under the auspices of ICC, LCIA, DIAC, ADCCAC and the TAI. He regularly participates in other alternative dispute resolution processes such as adjudication and dispute adjudication boards (DABs). Michael is a former trustee and honorary treasurer of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a past chairman and past vice- chairman of the UAE branch.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Tonkin’s 30 years of international experience in a wide array of international construction disputes make him a valued expert in complex cases.

Biography

Michael is a chartered quantity surveyor, chartered arbitrator, CEDR-accredited mediator and RICS accredited expert witness with over 30 years of construction industry experience. He is an effective dispute resolver and has acted as quantum expert on more than 25 occasions.

Michael has extensive experience of commercial negotiations in major projects, particularly where bespoke contracts and innovative methods of procurement have been used. With a background in cost management, he specialises in commercial management, contract management, negotiation, risk management, third-party financial reporting and strategic advice. His project experience ranges from major infrastructure and buildings across the Middle East, the UK and Asia; power and water in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe; and oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Australasia.

Michael regularly provides commercial advice on formal dispute resolution, dispute avoidance and procurement. He is adept in many of the major standard forms of contract and has been employed by government bodies, large private companies, contractors and subcontractors to advise on commercial matters and procurement.

Michael has been a party-appointed expert witness, a single joint expert witness and a third-party expert evaluator. He has given oral testimony in traditional cross-examination as well as concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing) in international arbitrations, in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. Michael often acts as “coordinating expert” across several disciplines of expert.

Michael has been appointed as arbitrator on more than 60 occasions (as sole arbitrator, chairman of a tribunal of three, and co-arbitrator) under the auspices of ICC, LCIA, DIAC, ADCCAC and the TAI. He regularly participates in other alternative dispute resolution processes such as adjudication and dispute adjudication boards (DABs). Michael is a former trustee and honorary treasurer of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a past chairman and past vice- chairman of the UAE branch.

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2020. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866