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How have expert witness services changed in the wake of Covid-19?

15th January 2021

While the construction sector in the Middle East is bashing full steam ahead, slowly but steadily marking project continuity and earning additional contracts, the ongoing pandemic has still left some questions unanswered. How can stakeholders accurately perform their contractual obligations while shouldering the legal burdens of payment delays and cost overruns?

As part of the latest episode of Construction Week Viewpoint podcast series, Mark Castell, Partner and Delay & Quantum Expert at HKA shares insights on how expert witness services have changed in the wake of COVID-19.

Mark says “The roles and responsibilities of experts are exactly the same, it hasn’t changed, as well as the way we do investigations and analysis, be it a delay analysis, quantum analysis or technical study. However, without a shadow of doubt, there are a couple of aspects where there have been big changes. Firstly, the way we communicate and interact with others. The second major difference is that because face-to-face meetings are quite rare, we are now reliant on information that is digitalised.”

Listen to the full podcast here:

Property of Construction Week Middle East

Mark Castell is a quantity surveyor with more than 35 years of construction industry experience. He has acted as an expert on 25 occasions in matters of both delay and quantum.

Mark has given written and oral evidence to tribunals and courts, and has experience of witness conferencing (hot-tubbing). He has been cross-examined in international arbitration proceedings, undertaken binding expert determinations in the Middle East and Europe, and acted as a court appointed expert in the Netherlands.

Mark moved to contract and commercial consultancy following 15 years of live project experience in the UK and across mainland Europe. His project experience ranges from energy, marine and offshore to buildings, infrastructure, process and industrial sectors in Europe (including Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the UK), Africa (including Egypt, Gambia, Libya, Kenya and Nigeria) the Far East, the Middle East (Iraq, UAE and Oman), Australia, the United States and the Caribbean.

Mark’s varied expert analysis includes the effects of re-measurement, variations or changes to work scope, disruption, delays and extensions to completion dates, acceleration, and claims related to defects and incomplete work. He has acted as expert for disputed values of up to US$135 million.

Mark is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Clients have been “impressed by the professionalism, rigorousness, experience and the independent and impartial judgement of Mr Mark Castell” as well as his “knowledge and familiarity with the arbitral proceedings”.

There's clearly cost savings. And so, virtual hearings in arbitration can continue but this will depend on geography and circumstances of the project as well as wishes of the parties involved. But, the option will still be there.”
Mark Castell, Partner, HKA

This webinar/podcast presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the speakers and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of issue, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This webinar/podcast is protected by copyright © 2021 HKA Global Ltd.

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