Engineering & construction disputes

Battling the
Headwinds A regional analysis of claims and dispute causation

26th October 2022

Claims and disputes batter world’s major capital projects

Fifth Annual CRUX Insight Report reveals how global headwinds threaten further damaging overruns in costs and delivery of construction and engineering projects

Claims and disputes on 1,602 projects in 100 countries were investigated by expert consultants for the latest CRUX Insight report, published by HKA, the world’s leading risk mitigation and dispute resolution consultancy. The combined CAPEX of these projects amounted to more than US$2.13 trillion.

The analysis reveals that major capital projects are facing significant overruns in costs and delivery. Total claims analysed exceeded $80 billion in value, while the cumulative overruns total a staggering 840 years.

Fifth Annual CRUX Insight – Engineering & Construction

Battling the Headwinds


Download CRUX Insight Report

Fifth Annual CRUX Insight report key facts and figures

Headline statistics from this year’s report include:


projects analysed


combined capital expenditure


global regions


different countries


total value of claims

840 years

total extension of time claimed

Battling the headwinds

This year’s report, which distils the analysis of projects HKA have provided services on up to the end of July 2022, highlights the damaging influence of factors such as dysfunctional design processes, skills shortages and supply chain disruption on project performance:

As well as analysing the underlying causes, HKA proposes actions to pre-empt or mitigate these recurrent conflicts – and further insights to be gleaned via the CRUX Interactive Dashboard*.

“This new CRUX Insight report reveals the impacts in additional costs and time claimed for the completion of major capital projects, as well as the underlying causes. Based on first-hand investigations by our expert consultants around the world, it quantifies the huge toll on the global economy, our industry and project stakeholders.
Our unique analysis of the multiple reasons for distress on capital projects can help project promoters and the construction and engineering industry better understand where problems on projects can arise, and ultimately help them achieve better project outcomes.”

Renny Borhan, Partner, Chief Executive Officer

Regional analysis and actions

Across all projects globally, the leading cause of claims and disputes was change in scope, followed by conflicting contract interpretations and delayed design information. Within the regional analysis of the dataset, notable variations emerge in both causes and effects:

About CRUX

CRUX is HKA’s integrated research programme. This draws on incomparable intelligence from investigations by experts providing claims consulting and dispute resolution services on major capital projects around the world. CRUX Insight is our annual publication analysing the root causes of claims and disputes. We are committed to sharing lessons with clients and more widely so our industry can effectively manage risks on complex projects.

*CRUX Interactive dashboard

The CRUX database is searchable via an interactive dashboard, which can be used to gauge risks in various sectors and regions, benchmark causes, and help to identify areas for improvement.

Industries unevenly impacted by claims and disputes

The CRUX dataset can also be analysed by sector, among various other parameters.

Buildings and Transportation Infrastructure projects faced claims for longer time extensions than other sectors, averaging 76.7% and 70.0% of planned duration, respectively. A serious concern for owners and the wider industry, the implications may be even more troubling for governments and state agencies promoting new infrastructure as a stimulus for economies emerging from the pandemic.

Delays tended to be least severe in the Industrial and Manufacturing markets, but sums in dispute were higher, proportionately. Claimed extensions of time would prolong schedules by 54.6% (11 months on average). Contentious costs, averaging 54.8% of CAPEX, were significantly higher than the all-sector average (35.1%).

In 2022 we are still seeing a long COVID legacy of uncertainty, and that economic and logistical overhang has been compounded by the war in Ukraine, resurgent inflation, further supply shocks, and a slowdown in the global economic recovery. All pose significant challenges for major capital projects even though many of the world’s construction markets remain buoyant and boast strong project pipelines.
Amid acute skills shortages and these uncertainties, there are actions project teams can take to tackle the root causes of the most common claims and disputes. CRUX Insight shares world-class intelligence to help promoters, contractors and the wider industry navigate the complexities of major projects and avoid the unnecessary consequences in lost time and money.”

Toby Hunt, Partner, CRUX Sponsor

About HKA

HKA is a leading global consultancy in risk mitigation and dispute resolution, using our multi-disciplinary expertise to provide a comprehensive set of specialist services:

HKA brings a proud record of excellent service and high achievement to bear on today’s challenges. As trusted independent consultants, experts and advisers, we help clients manage disputes, risk and uncertainty on complex contracts and challenging projects.

We work with government agencies, local authorities, contractors, legal firms, and other professional service providers, as well as owners and operators, financial institutions and insurers. Clients have access to leaders and problem-solvers who decode complexity through collaborative working and innovative thinking, making the best possible outcomes a reality for our clients, every time.

HKA has in excess of 1,000 consultants, experts and advisors in more than 40 offices across 18 countries – with the skills and experience that are essential to get to the heart of even the most complex issues. Our people have vast first-hand experience spanning all major industries and the world’s most complex megaprojects, as well as an international track record of achieving successful outcomes.

HKA’s global portfolio includes some of the world’s largest and most prestigious commissions across a wide range of industries including buildings, industrial and manufacturing, power and utilities, resources, transportation infrastructure, technology, financial services, government contracts and non-profit.

For more information about HKA, connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter (@HKAGlobal) and Facebook.

Contact: Josephine Guckian

Mobile: +44 7740 421 796



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