When unexpected disputes arise on critical projects, concerns about schedule, completion costs and the administrative burden of resolving the dispute soon follow. Engaging a cost or schedule disputes specialist early in the resolution process can alleviate these concerns and facilitate a more favorable and timely resolution.
Here are five ways that cost or schedule disputes specialists can benefit an ongoing dispute or claim.
- Independent advice
A disputes specialist has the background, skills, training and experience that helps add credibility to a client’s position or claim. Calling upon previous experience with similar disputes, the specialist can offer additional insight and independent advice that can benefit client or counsel. Often project personnel become entrenched in their positions, which can result in unproductive negotiations. An independent specialist can provide management with a clear, objective view of the relative strengths or weaknesses of entitlement, schedule, or cost issues, which can facilitate early resolution and provide cost savings.
- Disputes expertise
Disputes specialists bring their depth of experience in negotiations, depositions, and trials to bear when being challenged by the opposing client or counsel. The disputes specialist can also provide valuable insight and avenues of inquiry to better understand and challenge opponents’ assertions. Disputes specialists are also adept at presenting complex information in a manner that is more easily understood by decision makers and other stakeholders.
- Efficiency handling claims
Proficient disputes specialists know what needs to be done and can efficiently plan, execute and time-manage the effort. They can often identify issues and potential recoveries that in-house personnel may miss. They can also present support for entitlement and quantify results effectively, helping drive optimal outcomes at negotiation, mediation, or trial.
- Outsourced analytical resources
Often clients prefer to use in-house resources to perform the damages and schedule analyses required to assert or defend against a claim. Even though in-house expertise may be available to perform the work, such resources may be too limited, unduly influenced by management, temporarily unavailable due to everyday work requirements, or unable to produce the desired quality work product within the required timeframe. Contractual claim requirements and dispute resolution procedures often specify strict timeframes in which a claim or dispute must be identified, quantified, and submitted. The disputes specialist can free up in-house resources that would otherwise perform these time-consuming tasks.
- Readiness for battle
Often, demonstrating to the opposing side that you are ready for arbitration or trial will help to facilitate a settlement or resolution. However, if a negotiation meeting, mediation, or other resolution effort proves unsuccessful, having enlisted the disputes specialist better prepares clients to take the dispute onward to trial or to the next phase. With each side’s position established, perceived weaknesses can be addressed and a more effective and informed trial strategy can be developed.
When faced with an unexpected dispute, consider the benefits listed here for utilizing a cost or schedule disputes specialist early in the process when determining the right course of action for your organization.