How to best use financial experts in construction disputes

Authored by Jim Miller and David Duffus

Construction disputes often involve allegations of defective work, breach of contract, and consequences related to changes in the scope of work, among other issues. These matters, in turn, typically have financial implications, such as:

  • compensation payable to a contractor for disputed changes in the work;
  • impact on parties due to delays, disruption, acceleration, and/or termination of the work;
  • compensation payable to an owner for corrective work and/or back charges; and
  • other damages, including claims for lost profits, where allowed.

Given these financial issues, parties to a construction dispute often turn to financial experts for assistance in documenting and evaluating claims, drafting an expert report, and providing expert witness testimony with respect to the dispute. A financial expert is a person with specialized financial knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education that qualifies him or her to form helpful opinions for a party anticipating litigation or preparing for trial. These qualifications are important because a court must find that the opinion evidence is relevant to the issues in the case, that it is reliable, and that it is helpful to the trier of fact.

This article explores how contractors can best use financial experts when facing disputes.

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This article was originally published in Construction Accounting and Taxation (Vol. 28, No. 6)