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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Stephen Rae

Stephen Rae

FTI ConsultingLevel 47, Central Park152-158 St. George’s TerracePerthAustralia6000

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

The well-established Stephen Rae draws praise from market commentators for his “attention to detail” and thorough “experience in the Australian market”.

Questions & Answers

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.
Stephen is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor with over 35 years’ experience in the construction and engineering industries, 25 years of which have been as a specialist in dispute management, expert witness services and the provision of claims and contractual advice to the construction, engineering and offshore oil and gas industries in the UK, Asia Pacific and Australasia regions.
Describe your career to date
I completed an electrical trade apprenticeship in 1985 and in 1990 joined an international firm of Chartered Quantity Surveyors based in Manchester, England, as an Assistant Mechanical and Electrical Quantity Surveyor. I cut my quantity surveying teeth on a range of projects for blue chip clients such as Glaxo and Shell, while also having a major involvement in the construction of a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System project for the Ministry of Defence.
I then spent a couple of years working on nuclear installations in the north of England, before taking up an opportunity to relocate to Hong Kong in 1994 to work on the construction of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. From 1995, I was based at the new airport construction site as part of the terminal building contract and claims management team.
In 1999, I joined an international firm of claims and dispute management consultants in Hong Kong. By mid-2001, I had testified in an arbitration for the first time as a quantum expert. In late 2001, I transferred to the firm’s Singapore office, becoming a Director in 2002. I remained in Asia until late 2010, when I relocated to Australia.
I joined FTI Consulting in Perth in 2012, where I am currently a Senior Managing Director responsible for FTI Consulting’s Construction Solutions practice in Australia.
What attracted you to construction?
I was offered the chance of an electrical trade apprenticeship upon leaving school at 16, and I have been working in the construction and engineering industries, in one capacity or another, ever since. I don’t know anything else.
Can you tell us about a challenging case you have worked on?
In 2009, I was appointed as a quantum expert in an arbitration in the Philippines on a dispute arising out of the construction of a light rail project in Manila. The relevant project documents were stored in a shipping container full of dusty old files located at the main contractor’s rail fabrication facility, near Hiroshima in Japan. Many of these documents were either written or annotated in Japanese. I spent six weeks residing in a hotel in a small fishing town on the outskirts of Hiroshima (where English was practically unheard of), attending the client’s offices each day to trawl through the project records with a translator at my side. It was painful, but I managed to complete the task and issue my report by the due date. The hearing in Manila also had its challenges. At one point during counsel’s cross-examination of a key witness, proceedings were suddenly paused while the tribunal chair took a phone call from his wife in order to discuss, for all to hear, their dinner arrangements for that evening.
What matters have you enjoyed working on most in the past year?
Over the last 12 months, I have been preparing a series of quantum expert reports for a large value court case arising out of the construction of a Liquified Natural Gas project in Australia. The quantum issues in dispute are quite complex. The matter has been demanding but gratifying.
How do you prepare for a testifying case?
I usually lock myself in a room and become immersed in the details of my evidence and that of the opposing expert. Depending on the size and complexity of the matter, this period could range from a few days, to several weeks.
Where do you see the construction industry heading in the covid-19 environment?
On large construction projects, I anticipate that the social distancing requirements enforced to help stem the spread of the virus (such as fewer workers in a given location at the same time, staggered lunch breaks, limits on site transportation capacity, etc.) will continue to be implemented in one form or another as industry best practice, after the virus is contained. While these measures may initially increase construction costs, I ultimately expect there to be benefits in terms of safety and increased productivity.
What advice would you give to younger experts?
Being engaged as an expert in court and arbitration proceedings in construction disputes can be challenging but also highly rewarding. The first step to making this a successful career choice is the commitment to acquiring deep industry knowledge and expertise in the area in which you choose to practice. Thereafter, you will need to demonstrate an awareness of the limitations of your own expertise, coupled with an appreciation of the value of your independence as an expert, in order to maintain the necessary credibility that serves to underscore your opinions.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The well-established Stephen Rae draws praise from market commentators for his “attention to detail” and thorough “experience in the Australian market”.

Biography

Stephen Rae is a senior managing director and head of FTI Consulting’s construction solutions practice in Australia.

Stephen is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years’ experience in the construction and engineering industries. For the past 25 years he has specialised in the provision of cost management, change valuation and forensic delay analysis services to owners, contractors and their legal advisers. His services have been provided in both contentious and non-contentions situations, in relation to commercial developments; roads; railways; airports; tunnels oil and gas platforms shipbuilding LNG plants pipelines mining facilities power plants desalination plants nuclear installations defence installations pharmaceutical plants and marine civil projects.

Stephen first testified as an expert in 2000 in Hong Kong in relation to a dispute arising out of a hotel development in Macao. He has since received in excess of 25 expert witness appointments on construction quantum and/or delay matters and has given oral expert testimony in several jurisdictions including Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan, before domestic and international arbitral tribunals.

Stephen frequentley lectures on subjects relating to the preparation and assessment of construction claims, delay analysis methodologies and methods of evaluating the impact of change on resource efficiency.

Stephen holds bachelor’s degrees in both law and quantity surveying. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a RICS-accredited expert witness.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Stephen Rae earns plaudits for being “very responsive to requests, commercially astute and practical in his approach” to construction disputes. He “always delivers high-quality work on time, without fail”.

Biography

Stephen Rae is a senior managing director and head of FTI Consulting’s construction solutions practice in Australia.

Stephen is a chartered quantity surveyor with over 35 years’ experience in the construction and engineering industries. For the past 25 years he has specialised in the provision of cost management, change valuation and forensic delay analysis services to owners, contractors and their legal advisers. His services have been provided in both contentious and non-contentions situations, in relation to commercial developments; roads; railways; airports; tunnels; oil and gas platforms; shipbuilding; LNG plants; pipelines; mining facilities; power plants; desalination plants; nuclear installations; defence installations; pharmaceutical plants; and marine civil projects.

Stephen first testified as an expert in 2000 in Hong Kong in relation to a dispute arising out of a hotel development in Macao. He has since received in excess of 25 expert witness appointments on construction quantum and/or delay matters and has given oral expert testimony in several jurisdictions including Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan, before domestic and international arbitral tribunals.

Stephen frequently lectures on subjects relating to the preparation and assessment of construction claims, delay analysis methodologies and methods of evaluating the impact of change on resource efficiency.

Stephen holds bachelor’s degrees in both law and quantity surveying. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a RICS-accredited expert witness.

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