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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction 2019

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Thomas Hofbauer is “very knowledgeable, fast and responsive” according to clients, and possesses widespread expertise in delay and disruption analysis.

Questions & Answers

Thomas Hofbauer is a senior managing director at FTI Consulting. For over 20 years, Mr Hofbauer has worked in the construction and engineering industries as a civil engineer with experience including industrial, infrastructure, power and utilities, technology, rolling stock and rail. He has acted as a delay and quantum expert in English and German disputes for proceedings under ICC, VIAC, SCAI and DIS rules across Europe, China, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

What did you find most challenging about entering the construction market?

I got the chance to run the German operations of a global claims consultancy when I was 34 years old. Even though I was in the business for some years, I was much younger than my clients. Being trusted is very important for expert witnesses. I had to convince them that regardless of my age I was able to help them in their most critical situations with far-exceeded budgets and delayed projects.

What do clients look for in an effective testifying expert?

A testifying expert is expected to have strong communication and presentation skills, as well as the ability to understand what is important to the arbitrator’s decision in a case. The first challenge is finding the right language to clearly explain complex matters without simplifying them too much. The second is that the expert must understand his or her role in both the case and the proceeding. Client expectations may vary depending on their expertise, the country they come from and the jurisdiction of the case. When a client’s expectations do not match what the jurisdiction would expect from the expert, it presents a great challenge.

How has the role of testifying expert changed since you began your career?

The amount of data and information has increased tremendously. The effort to understand what is important, in conjunction with the massive volume of information, is very high, even compared to only a few years ago. A consequence is that the expert needs to be very clear about the information basis for the assessment and the applied methodology. Without this it is not possible to evaluate the outcome of an expert’s evaluation.

How does your previous experience as a civil engineer enhance your work as a consulting expert?

Our cases relate to the technical problems of technical projects. Many of the disputes we work on are engineering-driven; therefore, a technical understanding is very helpful to understand the issues. Having worked as an engineering manager, I’m able to analyse the complex engineering relations and see how small issues may severely affect the project.

How are technological developments currently affecting the practice of quantum and delay analysis?

It is a logical effect that the increase in data complexity creates a need to apply technology in order to deal with those matters. Time schedules with thousands of line items cannot effectively be analysed manually. We therefore started developing data models that allow us to reduce the efforts of the technical schedule analysis by about 80 per cent, giving us more time for the actual expert analysis of the relevant information and facts. This structured approach enables reproducibility of findings at any stage of the proceedings and enhances the robustness of the analysis overall.

What makes FTI Consulting stand out from its competitors?

FTI offers a wide range of services around international arbitration, such as asset tracing, to understand if the opponent can afford to lose the case. We have a great team of expert witnesses with a variety of expertise and focus including delay, damages, valuation, data forensics, e-discovery and all sorts of data science, enabling us to effectively deal with the largest cases. Additionally, our strategic communications teams help clients protect their reputation around disputes.

What do you think will be the greatest challenges facing construction experts over the next five years and how will you ensure you are prepared to face them?

Our analysis will change with the complexity of cases and the amount of data available. The challenge won’t be that we don’t have enough information to assess cases, but that there is too much information to distil what’s relevant. The consequence is that we need to invest in adequate technology, but also in concise presentation methods.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

That’s my family, of course. Regarding business, I am part of a great team, which enables us to work on extremely interesting and complex cases.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Thomas Hofbauer is described by peers as "a sharp thinker with impressive presentation skills" and specialises in both delay and quantum matters.

Biography

Thomas Hofbauer, a senior managing director at FTI Consulting and a member of the forensic and litigation consulting practice, is based in Munich.

Thomas is a civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in the construction and engineering industries. He acts as both delay and quantum expert, in English and German-language disputes, and has been commissioned as expert on more than 10 occasions.

Thomas is a member of the Bavarian Chamber of Engineers, with a background in strategic procurement, commercial management and contract management for buildings, infrastructure, industrial, IT, power and rolling stock projects across Europe. His contract and claims management activities range from contract advice through to final account settlement.

As an expert witness and adviser, Thomas is keen to help the parties to understand the particulars of each case to best inform their decisions and to help take complex issues and questions and provide simple and clear answers. He specialises in contract and risk analysis and in delivering project audits to assess delay, disruption, damages and cost for projects up to US$2 billion and disputed values in excess of US$500 million. Thomas has given evidence in arbitral proceedings at the ICC in Paris, the VIAC in Vienna and the SCAI in Zurich. He has also acted as expert for disputes across Europe, as well as in China, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Thomas lectured on international project management at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart for more than four years, and continues to regularly advise clients, within the German-speaking countries, on a variety of large-scale, national and international projects. 

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Thomas Hofbauer is "very knowledgeable, fast and responsive" according to clients, and possesses widespread expertise in delay and disruption analysis.

Biography

Thomas Hofbauer, a senior managing director at FTI Consulting and a member of the forensic and litigation consulting practice, is based in Munich.

Thomas is a civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in the construction and engineering industries. He acts as both delay and quantum expert, in English and German-language disputes, and has been commissioned as expert on more than 10 occasions.

Thomas is a member of the Bavarian Chamber of Engineers, with a background in strategic procurement, commercial management and contract management for buildings, infrastructure, industrial, IT, power and rolling stock projects across Europe. His contract and claims management activities range from contract advice through to final account settlement.

As an expert witness and adviser, Thomas is keen to help the parties to understand the particulars of each case to best inform their decisions and to help take complex issues and questions and provide simple and clear answers. He specialises in contract and risk analysis and in delivering project audits to assess delay, disruption, damages and cost, for projects up to €2 billion and disputed values in excess of €500 million. Thomas has given evidence in arbitral proceedings at the ICC in Paris, the VIAC in Vienna and the SCAI in Zurich and acted as expert for disputes in Austria, China, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Thomas lectured on international project management at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart for more than four years and continues to regularly advise clients, within German-speaking countries, on a variety of large-scale, national and international projects.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Thomas Hofbauer is regarded as a highly qualified and knowledgeable expert who frequently advises on delay and quantum matters in high-value cases across a range of jurisdictions.

Biography

Thomas Hofbauer, a senior managing director at FTI Consulting and a member of the forensic and litigation consulting practice, is based in Munich.

Thomas is a civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in the construction and engineering industries. He acts as both delay and quantum expert, in English and German-language disputes, and has been commissioned as expert on more than 10 occasions.

Thomas is a member of the Bavarian Chamber of Engineers, with a background in strategic procurement, commercial management and contract management for buildings, infrastructure, industrial, IT, power and rolling stock projects across Europe. His contract and claims management activities range from contract advice through to final account settlement.

As an expert witness and adviser, Thomas is keen to help the parties to understand the particulars of each case to best inform their decisions and to help take complex issues and questions and provide simple and clear answers. He specialises in contract and risk analysis and in delivering project audits to assess delay, disruption, damages and cost, for projects up to €2 billion and disputed values in excess of €500 million. Thomas has given evidence in arbitral proceedings at the ICC in Paris, the VIAC in Vienna and the ASA in Zurich and acted as expert for disputes in Austria, China, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Thomas lectured on international project management at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart for more than four years and continues to regularly advise clients, within the German-speaking countries, on a variety of large-scale, national and international projects. 

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