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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Toshi Dezaki

Toshi Dezaki

Ankura2000 K Street NW12th FloorWashingtonDistrict of ColumbiaUSA20006

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Construction Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

The “excellent” Toshi Dezaki provides “invaluable” expertise in construction disputes when it comes to expert testimony, and quantum and damages valuation. 

Questions & Answers

Toshi Dezaki is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura with more than 20 years of national and international consulting experience in construction and government contracts. Toshi provides project advisory services during construction and analyses construction claims post project completion. He provides expert testimony on quantum/damages issues and has offered evidence in U.S. Federal and State courts, US Arbitrations (AAA, JAMS, private), and International Arbitrations (ICC and AOA).  He is based in Washington, DC and Miami.

What attracted you to a career in the construction industry? 

Construction is the backbone of the world’s infrastructure. I am particularly drawn to the lifecycle of the construction industry, where a concept or idea (design) results in the construction of structure.

Looking at your career, what cases stand out to you as being particularly interesting, and why? 

Many experts define their careers by the value of the project or the amount at risk in litigation. Many construction companies, even the largest in the world, started as family businesses. These companies pass down from generation to generation. This dynamic is particularly important because sometimes the outcome of a hearing may determine whether one generation is able to pass down the legacy of the company to the next generation within the family. 

One of the most interesting cases was when a client received a favourable decision which allowed the company to avoid insolvency and continue for the next generation. Once the decision was rendered, the patriarch of this construction company broke into tears knowing that his life’s work would be able to continue through his children.

What are the best ways of remaining impartial and independent when providing analysis and testimony? 

The hardest aspect of expert analysis is delivering news that is not consistent with the client’s expectations. I approach each case with the same mindset, which is to provide an impartial analysis to allow the client to make the best business decision they can make. In a hearing, the client needs to understand the merits of the case to determine their own risk tolerance in advancing or defending a claim. 

How do you prepare effectively for cross-examination in a complex, high-value case? 

In many respects, the opposing party creates a roadmap to my preparation through its own papers and opinions proffered by its experts. I spend a significant amount of time reviewing the opposing party’s legal filings in order to understand what types of questions may come my way during a hearing. Hearings in the U.S. may also have depositions prior to a hearing, and I will review those transcripts to understand what types of questions I may receive. 

An understanding of the examiner is also important. Ankura has numerous experts so if I am unfamiliar with the opposing counsel, it is likely that one of my colleagues has an insight into the opposing counsel. I ask questions about style, tone, pace, and demeanour to better prepare myself for questioning. 

Ultimately, I need to understand the details of the case and the analysis. This is paramount to any cross-examination preparation.

To what extent will covid-19 inform parties’ behaviour when entering into construction and engineering contracts in the future? 

Construction was better prepared than many other industries because mitigation is an imperative for a successful project. Adaptations in contracting and controls will evolve from our experience with covid-19, but not distinctly from the myriad of risks that impact every project. 

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

The evolution of analyses trends similarly with technological advances that positively impact construction. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, predictive coding, and the fourth industrial revolution is currently leaving an imprint on the industry. The industry is still predominantly a people business and one must be cogniscant that technology is no substitute for the most important asset in the world: human capital. 

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

From the professional services aspect of construction, I see a paradigm shift. I predict a trend towards a more diverse professional services workforce, which mirrors its constituency – the construction workforce. If professional services firms do not recognise this reality, particularly the recognition of the contributions of women in construction, then I believe that the industry will pass them by.

What advice would you give to younger experts hoping to one day be in your position? 

Experts are in a service industry, that ultimately services people. An independent analysis is important because if the results do not reconcile with a client’s expectations, it is important to convey that information as soon as possible so that the client can make an appropriate business decision. 

As it relates to the analysis, one must understand that the analysis is important, but the marriage between the issues and the analysis is equally important. The quantitative calculation provides the answer, but the ability to communicate the link between entitlement and damages guides the trier-of-fact.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The “excellent” Toshi Dezaki provides “invaluable” expertise in construction disputes when it comes to expert testimony, and quantum and damages valuation. 

Biography

Toshi Dezaki is a senior managing director at Ankura with 20 years of national and international consulting experience in construction and government contracting-related issues. Toshi provides project advisory services during the course of construction and also analyses and reviews construction claims post-project completion in mediation, arbitration (including international arbitration) and trial. He is based in Miami and Washington, DC.

Toshi’s construction and government contracting project experience spans a variety of industry sectors including energy, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, infrastructure, oil and gas, power, marine, residential, telecommunication, and transportation. A large portion of this experience also includes addressing issues related to the allocation of damages between parties including insurance carriers, insured parties, and others as well as surety bonds, principals, and obligees.

Toshi has assisted clients and counsel with many types of construction cost analyses, including changes in scope, lost productivity, acceleration, cost categorisation reviews, cost variance analyses, reimbursable contract cost reviews, and jobsite/home office overhead cost allocation. He has also performed construction audits, reconciliations, change order cost and documentation reviews, forensic accounting, fact finding investigations, and reasonableness reviews.

Toshi’s experience address issues related to alleged defective construction, errors and omissions, builder’s risk, differing site conditions, inclement weather, breaches of contract, additional work requests, terminations for convenience/default, contractor abandonment, changed scope of work, delay, disruption, and various owner/developer, contractor, subcontractor, and vendor issues.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Toshi Dezaki earns strong accolades for his cost analyses for construction projects in a variety of sectors, including oil and gas, residential, and transportation projects.  

Biography

Toshi Dezaki is a senior managing director at Ankura with 20 years of national and international consulting experience in construction and government contracting-related issues. Toshi provides project advisory services during the course of construction and also analyses and reviews construction claims post-project completion in mediation, arbitration (including international arbitration) and trial. He is based in Miami and Washington, DC.

Toshi’s construction and government contracting project experience spans a variety of industry sectors including energy, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, infrastructure, oil and gas, power, marine, residential, telecommunication, and transportation. A large portion of this experience also includes addressing issues related to the allocation of damages between parties including insurance carriers, insured parties, and others as well as surety bonds, principals, and obligees.

Toshi has assisted clients and counsel with many types of construction cost analyses, including changes in scope, lost productivity, acceleration, cost categorisation reviews, cost variance analyses, reimbursable contract cost reviews, and jobsite/home office overhead cost allocation. He has also performed construction audits, reconciliations, change order cost and documentation reviews, forensic accounting, fact finding investigations, and reasonableness reviews.

Toshi’s experience address issues related to alleged defective construction, errors and omissions, builder’s risk, differing site conditions, inclement weather, breaches of contract, additional work requests, terminations for convenience/default, contractor abandonment, changed scope of work, delay, disruption, and various owner/developer, contractor, subcontractor, and vendor issues.

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