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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts

SecretariatL37, Riparian Plaza71 Eagle StreetBrisbaneAustralia4000

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

The distinguished Paul Roberts is a specialist quantum expert who enjoys an exceptional reputation among sources as a go-to expert for construction disputes.

Questions & Answers

Paul Roberts is a chartered surveyor with over 35 years’ experience in building, engineering, resource and petrochemical projects throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and UK. Paul is a highly regarded quantum expert, an experienced adjudicator, arbitrator, determiner and mediator, former committee member of professional industry bodies and tertiary level tutor. With over 100 quantum expert appointments in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, Paul has given oral testimony in court and arbitration proceedings.

What attracted you to a career as a quantum expert? 

During the 1990’s I enjoyed assisting seasoned testifying quantum experts and was very fortunate to receive their encouragement and support to continue along this path. In addition to the attraction of the varied and analytical nature of the work, I was impressed by the experts’ professionalism, the consistent high quality of their work and the resulting respect they were shown by instructing solicitors and clients. Through a structured training and development programme of further study, mentoring and experience, my career developed progressively until I become an expert in my own right. 

How has the construction market changed since you first started practising?

I will choose two of the many changes I have experienced since I started in 1980’s. Firstly, even on relatively straightforward construction projects where the parties are familiar wih one other, there has been an increase in the use of bespoke contracts; even when standard form contracts are used, the volume of amendments, special conditions and the like, has generally increased progressively over time. Secondly, the construction industry increasingly expects projects or services to be delivered in shorter time frames and, at the same time, for a lower cost; in my experience, these expectations are often unrealistic and can result in unsatisfactory outcomes.     

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

Undoubtedly, my proudest achievement is the first time a colleague whom I had mentored, both as a quantity surveyor and as an assistant quantum expert, was appointed as expert in their own right and was complimented by the client for the very high quality of the analysis, report and professional manner in which the services were delivered. My colleague subsequently thanked me and expressed appreciation for the time and effort I had spent training and mentoring.     

In what ways are technological innovations impacting construction quantum analysis and the work of expert witnesses?

The ability to readily present large quantities of complicated data, especially as the use of BIM and document management systems increases on construction projects, in the form of easy to understand charts, graphs and models, provides clarity and saves time. Also, expert witness briefs, which are increasingly provided electronically through cloud-based file sharing platforms, with hyperlinks to individual documents, allows experts to accurately and efficiently search for relevant documents and information.  

How does Secretariat distinguish itself from competitors in the market? 

Secretariat’s focus is the delivery of excellent quality services through the employment, retention and development of high-calibre testifying experts and their respective support teams, rather than on headcount, revenue or profit. Focusing on the provision of high-quality, dependable and independent opinion results in more successful outcomes for the parties seeking resolution of their disputes. These successes are achieved either through the parties reaching negotiated settlements or in assisting tribunals reach the appropriate determination more efficiently. 

How do you see your practice evolving over the next five years? 

The Australian-based operation of Secretariat’s global practice was established in 2019 with a strong team of quantum experts located in Brisbane. Over the next five years, the practice will expand the Australian-based service offering to include delay and forensic accounting and economic damages experts. At the same time, the practice will progressively establish offices in the capitals of other States and Territories.   

What are the specific challenges of practising in Australia that new practitioners should be aware of? 

The main challenges new practitioners need to be aware of, in addition to the vast physical distances and different time zones, primarily concern the procedural and legislative conditions unique to the construction industry in each State and Territory. There are numerous differences, ranging from the need to be appropriately licenced in order to carry out construction work or services, to the significant differences in legislation between the various jurisdictions, for example the differing Adjudication (Security of Payment) laws in each State and Territory. 

What advice would you give to other experts hoping to one day be in your position?

The main advice I would give to all would-be experts, of whatever discipline, is two-fold. Firstly, to actively gain as much varied experience as possible working as a practitioner in your own professional specialist field on different procurement and contracting models over whole project life cycles. For example, in my case, I began my career with a firm of chartered quantity surveyors providing traditional services on building projects; I then went on to work in the quantity surveying team of an international multi-disciplinary consulting organisation where I gained broad experience on civil engineering and heavy engineering projects. Secondly, after at least 10 years as a practitioner, try to work with an experienced testifying expert in your chosen field.  

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The distinguished Paul Roberts is a specialist quantum expert who enjoys an exceptional reputation among sources as a go-to expert for construction disputes.

Biography

Paul is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years of experience in all facets of commercial, contractual and dispute management. He has acted as expert on over 100 occasions in matters of quantum and damages.

Paul worked in quantity surveying for almost 20 years followed by over a decade specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. His experience spans a wide variety of building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects located throughout Australia, South East Asia and the UK.

Paul mainly operates from HKA’s Brisbane office and provides commercial advice, contractual services and expert quantum opinion to clients ranging from contractors, employers and their respective legal advisers on building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects.

Paul is formally trained and experienced as adjudicator, arbitrator, expert determiner and mediator. He is regularly appointed to act as expert witness in Australia and overseas and has been cross-examined in both litigation and arbitration, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing).

Paul has been a committee member of a number of professional industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). He is an experienced tertiary-level tutor and external examiner and regularly speaks on topics including alternative dispute resolution, procurement and risk.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The "excellent" Paul Roberts is heralded by sources across the construction sector as "one of the leading quantum experts in Australia".

Biography

Paul is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years of experience in all facets of commercial, contractual and dispute management. He has acted as expert on over 100 occasions in matters of quantum and damages.
Paul worked in quantity surveying for almost 20 years followed by over a decade specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. His experience spans a wide variety of building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects located throughout Australia, South East Asia and the UK.
Paul mainly operates from Secretariat's Brisbane office and provides commercial advice, contractual services and expert quantum opinion to clients ranging from contractors, employers and their respective legal advisers on building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects.
Paul is formally trained and experienced as adjudicator, arbitrator, expert determiner and mediator. He is regularly appointed to act as expert witness in Australia and overseas and has been cross-examined in both litigation and arbitration, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing).
Paul has been a committee member of a number of professional industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). He is an experienced tertiary-level tutor and external examiner and regularly speaks on topics including alternative dispute resolution, procurement and risk.
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Roberts is endorsed by commentators as a standout quantity surveyor and expert witness in commercial disputes. He has over 35 years of experience as a quantum expert witness in construction disputes.

Biography

Paul is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years of experience in all facets of commercial, contractual and dispute management. He has acted as expert on over 100 occasions in matters of quantum and damages.

Paul worked in quantity surveying for 20 years followed by over a decade specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. His experience spans a wide variety of building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects located throughout Australia, South East Asia and the UK.

Paul mainly operates from Secretariat's Brisbane office and provides commercial advice, contractual services and expert quantum opinion to clients ranging from contractors, employers and their respective legal advisers on building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects.

Paul is formally trained and experienced as adjudicator, arbitrator, expert determiner and mediator. He is regularly appointed to act as expert witness in Australia and overseas and has been cross-examined in both litigation and arbitration, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing).

Paul has been a committee member of a number of professional industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). He is an experienced tertiary-level tutor and external examiner and regularly speaks on topics including alternative dispute resolution, procurement and risk.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Roberts is "highly recommended as a quantum expert" by impressed sources who applaud his "excellent written reports" and highlight him as "a confident expert witness".

Biography

Paul is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years of experience in all facets of commercial, contractual and dispute management. He has acted as expert on over 100 occasions in matters of quantum and damages.

Paul worked in quantity surveying for almost 20 years followed by over a decade specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. His experience spans a wide variety of building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects located throughout Australia, South East Asia and the UK.

Paul mainly operates from Secretariat's Brisbane office and provides commercial advice, contractual services and expert quantum opinion to clients ranging from contractors, employers and their respective legal advisers on building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects.

Paul is formally trained and experienced as adjudicator, arbitrator, expert determiner and mediator. He is regularly appointed to act as expert witness in Australia and overseas and has been cross-examined in both litigation and arbitration, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing).

Paul has been a committee member of several professional industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). He is an experienced tertiary-level tutor and external examiner and regularly speaks on topics including alternative dispute resolution, procurement and risk.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Roberts is lauded as “one of the leading quantum experts in Australia”. He is regularly sought out to provide testimony on complex quantum matters. 

Biography

Paul is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years of experience in all facets of commercial, contractual and dispute management. He has acted as expert on over 100 occasions in matters of quantum and damages.

Paul worked in quantity surveying for almost 20 years followed by over a decade specialising in dispute avoidance and resolution. His experience spans a wide variety of building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects located throughout Australia, South East Asia and the UK.

Paul mainly operates from HKA’s Brisbane office and provides commercial advice, contractual services and expert quantum opinion to clients ranging from contractors, employers and their respective legal advisers on building, engineering, mining and petrochemical projects.

Paul is formally trained and experienced as adjudicator, arbitrator, expert determiner and mediator. He is regularly appointed to act as expert witness in Australia and overseas and has been cross-examined in both litigation and arbitration, including giving concurrent evidence (hot-tubbing).

Paul has been a committee member of a number of professional industry bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). He is an experienced tertiary-level tutor and external examiner and regularly speaks on topics including alternative dispute resolution, procurement and risk.

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