Paul Ficca is the global leader of FTI’s forensic and litigation consulting practice, with over 1,100 professionals. With more than 30 years of experience, Mr Ficca provides expert witness services related to forensic accounting and damages across multiple industries. Mr Ficca has served as an expert witness in arbitrations and other court venues. Mr Ficca is a certified public accountant, a certified fraud examiner and a certified management accountant, and is certified in financial forensics.
What attracted you to the construction field?
Construction is complex and it takes a tremendous amount of planning and coordination, which makes the field so dynamic and interesting.
You have worked on matters including fraud, forensic accounting, and damages. What types of work do you find most stimulating?
Helping people crystallise the facts in a way that brings clarity to a dispute through my analysis of project data is quite interesting and rewarding, when it is clear that my work made a real difference.
To what degree has it become important for experts to have a broad range of industry expertise?
It is always helpful to know the industry, so that the types of materials and equipment are more familiar. Knowledge of different types of projects can be a great differentiator.
To what extent does your work in arbitration contexts differ from that in traditional litigation?
There are many similarities, but one difference can often be the extent to which there are discussions between experts prior to a hearing. In international arbitrations, it is often the case that experts will meet to clarify points of agreement or disagreement, which I find improves the efficiency of arbitrations.
Will technological innovation in the short term potentially increase the number of disputes in the construction sector?
I am finding that technological innovation provides more real-time and accurate data, which tends to help improve the management of projects, which in turn tends to decrease the number of disputes, rather than increase them, if technologies are deployed properly at the outset of a project.
How significant a role have conflicts of interest played in the apparent fragmentation of the experts market?
It plays some role, but I find there is an even greater advantage of a large, global network of professionals who can handle large projects throughout the world, which is why I like the platform we have at FTI Consulting.
Over the years to come, can you envisage the construction industry turning from arbitration to mediation as a dispute resolution process?
In general, I believe that parties in dispute require finality and a final decision with certainty, so non-binding mediation has its place – but I do not envisage that it will supplant arbitration.
What advice do you wish you were given at the start of your career?
I had great advice from my mentors. The one that sticks out most to me is: always maintain integrity in everything you do, and it will be a great guide throughout your career and life.
Paul Ficca's "work is always extremely thorough" say clients, who report that "he is very credible on the stand" and "knows his report thoroughly and responds well under cross-examination".
Paul Ficca is the global leader of FTI’s forensic and litigation consulting practice, with over 1,000 professionals in 26 offices. Mr Ficca has 30 years of experience providing services in construction disputes, forensic accounting, fraud investigations and damages analysis. Mr Ficca has served as an expert witness in numerous arbitrations and other court venues.
Mr Ficca has extensive experience with many types of infrastructure projects, including power generation facilities, petrochemical plants, pipelines, tunnels, highways, bridges, mass transit and rail projects, airports, manufacturing facilities, steel mills, hospitals, gaming and hospitality, and other public and private facilities. Mr Ficca's experience includes engagements related to construction project delays, cost overruns, contractor terminations, differing site conditions, variations, equipment failures, labour productivity issues, and numerous other forms of project impacts.
Mr Ficca has worked on projects involving project delivery methods such as design/build, EPC, EPCM, and cost plus fixed fee and cost-plus percentage fee arrangements, among others.
He is currently serving as quantum expert on a large ICC arbitration matter and has been called to give sworn expert witness evidence in numerous arbitration and court venues.
Mr Ficca has a BA in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Washington. He is a certified public accountant, a certified fraud examiner and a certified management accountant, and he is certified in financial forensics. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Fraud Examiners and the Institute of Management Accountants.