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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Paul S Ficca

Paul S Ficca

FTI Consulting1111 Third AvenueFloor 12SeattleWashingtonUSA98101

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

The “excellent” Paul Ficca is one of the leading “senior quantum experts”. He is a very capable and “very credible” individual according to market commentators.

Questions & Answers

Paul Ficca leads FTI’s Forensic and Litigation Consulting segment. Mr. Ficca has 32 years of experience in forensic accounting, investigations and damages calculations. He has served as an expert witness on numerous disputes in court and international arbitration venues. Mr. Ficca has worked on many types of major infrastructure, energy, transportation and industrial projects around the world. Mr. Ficca is a certified public accountant, certified fraud examiner and certified management accountant. 

What matters have you enjoyed working on the most in the past year? 

It is very rewarding to see a case that I have worked on for many years result in a successful completion where instructing counsel is delighted with our work and see the value of the work that we have delivered. This occurred for me on a large environmental remediation action that was finally resolved recently.

How do you prepare for a testifying case?

For me, it always starts with a careful analysis of the facts that form a basis for my conclusions and opinions. With strong documentation of the sources and facts used to support my work, the preparation becomes easier.

What challenges arise as a result of projects becoming more complex and multidisciplinary?

The introduction of experts from multiple disciplines requires more coordination, because oftentimes, the work and conclusions of one expert are reliant on the work and conclusions of another expert. This coordination requires more communication with counsel, careful planning to ensure all of the relevant facts are considered, and to ensure that deadlines for deliverables are met. 

How has covid-19 caused delays in supply chains crucial in construction projects?

Covid-19 has created some slowdowns in available workforces and some reductions in productivity of workers who are taking additional safety precautions. From a supply chain perspective, there is a wide range of impacts, some of which have been only temporary and nominal and other impacts have been much more severe. Some commonly manufactured raw materials that are exported abroad to other countries have been in short supply due to temporary covid-19 related manufacturing plant shutdowns.

To what extent can virtual hearings be relied on to decide high-stakes multibillion-dollar cases between parties?

FTI has been providing technology with hardware tools supported by document management and trial support software to successfully enable the conduct of remote hearings. These cases run from small matters to cases that are very large. The technology enables the Judge, Hearing Examiner or Tribunal to see counsel, party representatives and witnesses on computer screens with a second screen dedicated to document and evidence call-up options.  The technology can be shipped to each person’s location and then returned via normal shipping options. Remote depositions and hearings are gaining a tremendous amount of acceptance as a very efficient and cost-effective way of conducting hearings.

What role do you expect force majeure clauses to play as there has been an uptick in the delay of construction projects?

There are legal and financial considerations related to force majeure clauses in contracts and disputes that may arise due to construction delays. Recognising that there may be fact-specific circumstances, it is difficult to generalise trends that are occurring in the market. However, we are seeing more force majeure claims and the need for both legal and expert witnesses to analyse the potential impacts from delays is on the rise. 

For FTI, we are helping companies with the assessment of questions that often arise around whether performance became commercially impracticable: what was the duration of covid-19 related impacts? When did the damages begin and end? How was the impact mitigated? And how are lost profits measured? 

Where do you see the construction industry heading in this covid-19 environment?

Covid-19 may tend to shrink investments in large scale mixed-use spaces in downtown city cores, but may cause capital expenditures to shift into more suburban areas over time. There may emerge a much larger trend of working from home. This may cause less need for mega transportation projects and greater need for internet bandwidth and other remote working infrastructure. 

What does covid-19 mean for experts and consultants? Companies that are in fierce competition, often need experts and consultants, so we see high growth opportunities for professionals with specialised industry expertise and those who can help accelerate the trajectory of meeting the goals of clients when dealing with high demands for the timely delivery projects on budget and with high quality.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next five years?

FTI has very ambitious plans to continue with the growth we started several years ago. Our goal is always to provide “Experts with Impact” and this means investing in training and developing our professionals to be most knowledgeable and supported by state-of-the-art data analytics and technological capabilities to deliver high value to clients. It is quite difficult to achieve high quality projects on-time and on-budget without the help of specialised experts.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The “excellent” Paul S Ficca is one of the leading “senior quantum experts”. He is a very capable and “very credible” individual according to market commentators.

Biography

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 31 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 has been called to give sworn expert witness evidence in numerous arbitrations 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.

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