Christopher Larkin
Office:
TD South Tower
79 Wellington Street West
Suite 2010
M5K 1G8
City:
Toronto
State:
Ontario
Country:
Canada
Tel:
+1 416 649 8082
Fax:
+1 416 649 8101

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting and leads its construction solutions practice in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 28 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 22 years specialising in construction dispute resolution. He is a chartered civil engineer and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr Larkin has testified as a construction delay expert witness in arbitrations in Canada and the Middle East.

What attracted you to a career as a construction expert?

I first worked on a construction arbitration in 1995. I found the research and analysis fascinating and challenging. This set me off on a career as a construction expert.

What attracted me to this career in the 1990s still applies today. The role continues to be stimulating and fresh: each construction project is unique and has its own facts and events.

Which qualities do clients look for in an expert witness?

Three qualities clients look for in an expert are a high attention to detail; an ability to work well as part of the team; and effectiveness at communicating their findings. I also think clients seek experts who are very experienced in their field and are confident when expressing their opinions and dealing with questions under cross-examination.

Which aspect of your work do you find the most rewarding?

I enjoy delving into the evidence, understanding the facts and trying to disentangle a complex series of events to figure out what caused the delays. On each new case, there is a steep learning curve, but you reach a point where everything becomes clear. Often, by having a new and independent insight, you see things that the project team may have missed.

You have worked in several jurisdictions around the world. What difference, if any, does the location of an arbitration make for a delay expert?

The location of the arbitrations has made little difference to my roles as a delay expert. All the jurisdictions I have worked in required the expert to be impartial and have a duty to the tribunal. Similarly, the jurisdiction has not affected the subject matter and approach as my roles involve assessing the causes and extent of delays. There have been differences in arbitration procedures in terms of the number and types of reports, such as joint-expert reports and reply and responsive reports. There have also been some variances in the conduct of the arbitration hearings, but they made little difference to my role as delay expert.

How does your international outlook benefit your practice?

I feel my international experience makes me more aware of how climate, custom, local practices and market nuances can affect the construction of projects. It means that I can more readily adapt and be flexible when analysing delays on projects in different locations.

Also, my appreciation of different cultural backgrounds makes me more sensitive to cultural issues and how they can affect behaviour, influence decisions and approaches.

What is the most challenging aspect of the arbitration process?

I think testifying in a hearing is the most challenging aspect of the arbitration process. No matter how well prepared you are, there is a risk that a smart and well-prepared lawyer could find something to undermine and discredit your evidence. You must thoroughly research the facts, properly analyse the issues, provide independent and unbiased opinions and communicate your findings in a clear and understandable way.

What sets FTI Consulting apart from other firms in the area?

There are many things that set FTI Consulting apart. There is the breadth and depth of expertise at FTI Consulting. We employ some of the world’s leading experts with deep industry expertise. Many of FTI Consulting’s professionals have received awards and have been recognised as leaders in their fields. Also, our comprehensive range of services is unmatched by any of our rivals.

I also think the culture at FTI Consulting sets us apart, which fosters creativity, excellence and innovation. This creates an environment where we are focused on producing tangible solutions that make a difference.

What would you like to accomplish that you have not already in your career?

I would like to testify on a project in the sector I trained as an engineer: highway engineering and construction.

I have been fortunate to work on a wide range of projects including railway schemes, shipbuilding, power stations, airports and hotels, but I have not testified on a highway project yet! I am currently appointed as expert on two highway cases so at least I am on the right road (pun intended).

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Construction

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting and leads its construction solutions practice in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 28 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 22 years specialising in construction dispute resolution. He is a chartered civil engineer and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr Larkin has testified as a construction delay expert witness in arbitrations in Canada and the Middle East.

What is the most memorable case you have been a part of?

I have been fortunate to work on some incredible projects in Europe, South East Asia, the Middle East and North America. However, my most memorable case concerned a mundane apartment block project in Dubai. It featured everything that can go wrong on a construction project, which turned the 18-month schedule into a seven-year nightmare.

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

The biggest change has been the use of information technology. It’s changed how we design projects, plan work, communicate, keep records and access information. This has, in turn, transformed the work processes when dealing with construction disputes. When I started, I would work in a client’s office or lawyers war room with paper copies of project documents. Today, documents in electronic form can be accessed from anywhere in the world using e-discovery platforms.

How will the introduction of statutory adjudication in Ontario from autumn 2019 impact the construction market?

Statutory adjudication, combined with the new prompt payment provisions, will improve cash flow in the construction market in Ontario and reduce the number of disputes referred to arbitration and the courts. Improved cash flow and fewer construction disputes will result in more collaborative working, greater investment and more employment opportunities. All good for the Ontario construction industry.

Do you think statutory adjudications will eventually spread to other jurisdictions within Canada?

Yes. Other provinces are at various stages of reforming payment provisions, some of which include adjudication. Also, a review was carried out in the first half of 2018 into the implementation of prompt payment and adjudication legislation on federal construction projects. The review recommended the adoption of adjudication to support prompt payment.

What do you think will be the main trends in the Canadian construction industry in the next few years?

Public-private partnership projects will continue to be a major feature of the Canadian construction industry. This is fuelled by the government of Canada’s pledge to spend over C$180 billion on infrastructure projects nationwide over the next 10 years with further funding by the provinces. The funding is aimed at healthcare, transportation and power generation.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

There are many challenges, such as juggling resources and deadlines across multiple matters and managing clients’ outcome expectations, but I think the most challenging is testifying at a hearing. You must really know the facts, each party’s arguments, your role and be able to articulate your opinions clearly to the tribunal. This is done while a very clever and well-prepared lawyer seeks to undermine your credibility and devalue your opinions.

What advice would you give to new practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?

I would give two pieces of advice. First, study and understand the details of each case but take time to step back and check that your direction and opinions make sense. With large quantities of information, it is easy to get swamped by data and analysis. Remember you need to explain your approach and opinions so they can be easily understood.

My second piece of advice is to remember that your role is to assist the tribunal: provide your own opinions and don’t be swayed by your client’s views. While a client might not initially agree with your assessment, they often understand the value of having an independent and reasoned opinion.

What is it about acting as an expert witness that you enjoy most?

What I enjoy most is disentangling complex facts and events to understand the delays and what caused them and then figuring out how best to present my findings. As each case is unique, it’s not possible to adopt a cookie-cutter approach. I determine how best to manage and handle data, research the issues and demonstrate my opinions. The uniqueness and fresh challenge of each case make the role stimulating and rewarding.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Canada - Arbitration Expert Witnesses

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 27 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 20 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, data centres, building schemes, shipbuilding projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has given expert testimony on a number of international arbitrations. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on practical completion, liquidated damages, schedule analysis, FIDIC forms of contract, concurrent delays and extensions of time. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry publications.

WWL says: Christopher Larkin boasts more than 27 years’ experience handling a range of complex arbitration disputes and is particularly well respected for his expertise in the construction industry. 

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Canada which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years' experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, data centres, building schemes, ship building projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

WWL says: Christopher Larkin earns international recognition for his experience and expertise as a quantum and delay expert in construction arbitrations.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Canada - Construction Expert Witnesses

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years’ experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, highways, building schemes, ship building projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has testified in a number of arbitrations. He has also acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

WWL says: Christopher Larkin has extensive experience in construction issues ranging from quantum to planning matters, with one source noting that he is "incredibly strong and knowledgeable" in the field.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Canada which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Construction - Quantum & Delay

Chris Larkin is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting forensic and litigation consulting practice and leads its construction solutions group in Canada. Mr Larkin has more than 29 years' experience in the construction industry, which includes 23 years specialising in contracts and dispute resolution.

His experience has embraced a number of complex projects, including power generation projects, data centres, building schemes, shipbuilding projects, rail projects, mechanical and electrical installation, and various civil engineering schemes. He has worked in a variety of countries including Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Mr Larkin is a chartered civil engineer with a law degree and arbitration qualifications.

Mr Larkin has been appointed as a scheduling expert witness and has acted as an assistant expert witness on both delay and quantum matters. He has experience of mediation, adjudication, arbitration and major litigation proceedings.

His claims management experience includes the forensic investigation of causes of delay and additional costs, delay analysis, quantum analysis, analysis of large quantities of complex data, drafting of statements of claim, evidence management and claim evaluation and rebuttal.

Mr Larkin has given a number of presentations, notably on delay analysis, concurrent delays, liquidated damages, FIDIC forms of contract and claim preparation. Chris has had a number of articles published in construction industry construction publications.

WWL says: With over 25 years' industry experience, Christopher Larkin is widely endorsed as "a real construction expert", who enjoys an outstanding reputation for his expertise in contractual matters.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

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