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Forensic delay analyst/expert witness

4 replies [Last post]
Casey Newcombe
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I'm currently in my last year of uni studying Quantity Surveying and my goal is to get into the dispute resolution/expert witness sector.

I understand this is one of the most lucrative sectors to work in. Also will this role become dispensable with new technologies such as BIM 4 as I don't want to waste time studying something that may be worthless in the future.

Also anyone know how to get into this niche sector?

I'm asking this before thinking of studying my masters in construction law and dispute resolution.

Many thanks


Ollie Lecm
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Hi Casey

If you are really into this sector, I recommend that you should rack up some working experience on site/as planner first before moving to forensic delay and eventually develop into an expert. Otherwise lawyers will screw you hard during the cross-examination (fk 'em - tbh).

Personally I dont think this sector will get replaced anytime soon, if not at all. People are people. They will always find something to fight against each other and machine wont be able to resolve that.

Mike Testro
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Hi Casey

It's Catch 23.

You won't get to testify in court until you have testified in court.

Also you can be appointed as an expert witness many times and still not get to testify in court because they settled.

Best regards

Mike T.

Andrew Flowerdew
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The normal route is initial qualifications, some years experience, further qualifications and or senior management experience.

Doing your masters in construction law and dispute resolution won't make you an expert although it should be very useful in climbing up the corporate ladder to senior management levels.



BIM can be a useful tool that shows you what happened but it doesn't usually explain why it happened. I've now been involved in a few projects using BIM and its use in explaining things to people, (employers, lawyers, tribunals, etc), that aren't from an engineering or planning background is excellent.

But it's the why it happened that gives entitlement to a claim and is what the expert will be interested in. So in a dispute, a very useful tool for communicating events but very rarely gives you the answers you actaully need to prove your case.

Patrick Weaver
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Qualification is relatively easy, getting work extremely difficult.  

Most larger consultancies do employ junior staff to undertake the hack work needed to develop an expert report - pay rates are junior rates and the hours are typically very long.  Expert testomony requires a lot of knowledge and skill:

The simple fact is to be an expert you need to be expert in your chosen field (eg, quantity surveying) first. It is only when you are a partner in a firm and have a track record as an experienced professional, you may decide to focus on providing evidence and have an expectation of earning a good income from the practice. If you are not a recognised expert no one will pay for your testimony because the other sides lawyers will simply discredit you. 

Dispute resolution practitioners are trained and qualified (in most juridictions) mediators, arbitrtors, adjudicators. The qualification process involves both academic and practical experience, but you only get asked to fulfil this role if people know you and respect your reputation. Most ADR practitioners belong to nominating organisations. 

BIM is unlikely to stop disputes but will change the nature of the expertiese required - this sort of once-in-a-generation change in technology will open up opportunited for people with expertiese in BIM. The volume of disputes may decrease but there will definately be opportunites that many currently established experts will not have the skills to exploite.