James Taylor
Office:
8 Shenton Way
#32-03
AXA Tower
068811
City:
Singapore
Country:
Singapore
Tel:
+65 6831 7821

Questions and Answers:

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.

James is a managing director in the construction solutions practice of FTI Consulting. James has been in Asia for 25 years developing extensive experience in commercial management, contract administration, expert witness and expert adviser services, together with claims preparation and negotiation. James has been appointed as a quantum expert witness acting for both government and private clients on numerous occasions, and has given evidence in both arbitration proceedings and in the High Court in Singapore.

What attracted you to a career in construction consulting?

I trained as a quantity surveyor and quickly came to realise that there was more to life than counting bricks. I got a break early on in my career in Asia when I was asked to work on secondment as a contract manager to a contractor whose project was going from bad to worse. From there I never looked back, as my career headed along the dispute resolution path.

How has the area changed since you started practising?

The rise of adjudication has been a big factor in changing the dispute arena since I started practising. Adjudication can settle disputes quickly and can reduce the possibility of a project going into arbitrations or litigation, but it can also have the opposite effect. If a party starts adjudication ill-prepared they are liable to lose and create a temporary finality which may require them to take the matter to arbitration to resolve.

How has your experience of appearing as an expert witness benefited your wider practice?

I think that acting as an expert witness has two key benefits to the wider practice. Firstly, and I guess this may seem obvious, but those employed as expert witnesses are considered in the market to be true experts in the field, and as such people with problems will come to us well before disputes arise to get our opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of matters. Secondly, when you have a “good result” against another party, they will often come to you on other projects if they recognise the benefits you have brought to your client’s case. Both of these help to expand the wider practice.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Being recognised as a quantum expert witness in itself I’ve always considered to be a great achievement in my career, but then to be put forward as a Thought Leader in this way pushes that to a higher level.

How do you prepare for appearing as an expert witness?

I feel that knowing the details of your own report is a key aspect of providing a good service to both the tribunal/ court and also your client, together with knowing the case being put forward by both parties. Preparation, therefore, consists mainly of reviewing and working through my own report, and also reviewing the pleadings and witness statements. Being able to go quickly to the pertinent sections of a report or statement when being questioned on it is very important.

What do clients look for in an effective construction consultant?

I believe that clients look not only for someone who knows the industry and has experience of the issues that come up time and again, but they also look for someone who is confident enough in their own opinions to give advice commercially as to what is the best way to approach a problem. I’ve seen many instances when consultants are able to tell the client what the options are but are very reluctant to offer advice on which they consider to be the best of those options to follow.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in this field?

The key in this field is experience and gaining experience from both the employer side and the contractor side of the market. When it comes to quantum expert witness work, experts really do have to go back to the basics that we learnt in university and through the early years of our careers, so really getting to grips with the basics of quantity surveying is something that pays dividends in the future.

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

Technology is slowly advancing in the construction industry with prefabrication works being more commonly used, BIM being incorporated into design practices, and the like. However, while these may reduce some of the disputes that occur, for instance, around design issues, I believe that they will also potentially create their own set of issues and disputes. For our Singapore practice specifically, I see the expansion of Maxwell Chambers and the growth of arbitrations in Singapore as offering a great opportunity for expert witness work and arbitration support work in the coming years.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

James Taylor is a senior managing director in the construction solutions practice of FTI Consulting and he is based in Singapore.

Mr Taylor has extensive experience in providing commercial management and contract administration services; expert witness and expert adviser services; as well as claims preparation and negotiation solutions. His skills have been built on a solid foundation of more than 20 years of experience in contract administration services and quantity surveying for employers, contractors and governments in Asia and Europe.

In addition, Mr Taylor has been appointed as both a quantum expert witness and a quantum expert adviser acting for both government and private clients on numerous occasions.

Recently Mr Taylor has been involved with advising a major international blue-chip client on settlement of final accounts as well as liabilities and entitlements on project delivery; he is also representing a major international contractor in negotiating and agreeing final account on a major design and build project; representing a major Singapore based mechanical and electrical contractor in a commercial and contracts manager role; and providing expert witness services for a dispute involving a major Japanese equipment supplier and contractor on a large power plant project in the US.

Previous roles include leading a team in their preparation for an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration involving a major international civil engineering project; providing expert adviser services for government bodies; preparing, devising and implementing risk review procedures for a large contracting organisation; drafting contract and subcontract documentation and joint venture agreements; carrying out risk analyses on tender documents; advising site teams on variations and claims strategies; preparing and negotiating extension of time and loss and expense claims; and preparation and delivery of independent expert reports.

Mr Taylor is experienced in managing schemes in excess of US$200 million and on re-measurement and lump sum contracts. His work has typically included quantity surveying and contract administration team management, providing strategic and commercial advice directly to client managers and directors.

WWL says: James Taylor is praised by peers for his "technically excellent work" as an expert witness. He is well versed in acting as a quantum expert for public and private clients across Asia and America.

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

Who's Who Legal Construction: Expert Witnesses

James Taylor is a senior managing director in the construction solutions practice of FTI Consulting and he is based in Singapore.

Mr Taylor has extensive experience in providing commercial management and contract administration services; expert witness and expert adviser services; and claims preparation and negotiation solutions. His skills have been built on a solid foundation of more than 28 years’ experience in contract administration services and quantity surveying for employers, contractors and governments in Asia and Europe.

Mr Taylor has been appointed as a quantum expert witness and a quantum expert adviser acting for both government and private clients on numerous occasions. Mr Taylor is currently appointed as quantum expert on three arbitrations and one case in the High Court of Singapore. He has given oral evidence in both international and domestic arbitration proceedings, as well as in the Singapore High Court.

Mr Taylor has been involved with advising major international blue-chip clients on settlement of final accounts as well as liabilities and entitlements on project delivery. He has also represented major international contractors in negotiating and agreeing final accounts on major international projects.

Previous roles include leading teams in preparation for international arbitrations on major international civil engineering projects; providing expert adviser services for government bodies; preparing, devising and implementing risk review procedures for a large contracting organisation; drafting contract and subcontract documentation and joint venture agreements; and carrying out risk analyses on tender documents.

WWL says: James Taylor receives effusive praise from market sources for his superb work on quantum analysis.

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

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

James Taylor is a managing director in the construction solutions practice of FTI Consulting and he is based in Singapore.

Mr Taylor has extensive experience in providing commercial management and contract administration services; expert witness and expert adviser services; and claims preparation and negotiation solutions. His skills have been built on a solid foundation of more than 28 years’ experience in contract administration services and quantity surveying for employers, contractors, and governments in Asia and Europe.

Mr Taylor has been appointed as a quantum expert witness and a quantum expert adviser acting for both government and private clients on numerous occasions. Mr Taylor is currently appointed as expert on three international arbitrations and one case in the High Court of Singapore.

Mr Taylor has been involved with advising a major international blue-chip client on settlement of final accounts as well as liabilities and entitlements on project delivery. He is also representing a major international contractor in negotiating and agreeing final account on a major design and build project; and a major Singapore-based mechanical and electrical contractor in a commercial and contracts manager role. He is providing expert witness services for a dispute involving a major Japanese equipment supplier and contractor on a large power plant project in the US.

Previous roles include leading a team in their preparation for an ICC arbitration involving a major international civil engineering project; providing expert adviser services for government bodies; preparing, devising and implementing risk review procedures for a large contracting organisation; drafting contract and subcontract documentation and joint venture agreements; and carrying out risk analyses on tender documents.

WWL says: James Taylor is a "well-known name" who "stands out" for his commercial approach to complex delay analysis and for his expert testimony skills.

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

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