Interface Consulting is a globally recognized consulting and expert services firm that has provided analysis at all stages of a dispute, from preliminary assessment through testimony in US courts and before arbitral tribunals. The firm’s consultants are highly qualified engineers, industry specialists, and experienced experts that have advised clients and provided expert opinions for over 30 years.
International construction projects comprise a large portion of Interface Consulting’s project portfolio. The firm’s experience includes projects in over 60 countries located on almost every continent including Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America. From Saudi Arabia to Thailand, Nigeria to Aruba, Interface Consulting’s international construction expertise has benefited hundreds of clients across a wide range of industries. Interface Consulting’s approach involves an appreciation of unique laws, regulations, and customs, as well as the different types of contracts and financial structures that are an integral part of international construction projects.
International Arbitration Experience
Interface Consulting’s construction experts have worked and testified in the world’s premier international commercial and investor-state arbitration forums and understand the specific requirements of each, including the following:
- Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC)
- London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
- United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration
- International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the international branch of the American Arbitration Association (AAA)
- Other Ad Hoc arbitration proceedings
Interface Consulting represents a variety of clientele involved in high-stakes claims and transnational disputes, from private corporations to state-owned enterprises and investors. The firm is keenly aware of complex commercial relationships and the differences encountered in international arbitration. Today’s international construction projects often include a foreign state-owned entity or owner from one country, an EPC contractor from another, with engineering being performed remotely in high-value-added engineering centers. This convergence of cultures, languages, and work practices creates complexities in project execution and dispute resolution.
International arbitration is the most preferred form of dispute resolution for international engineering and construction projects and there are fine nuances that must be appreciated to maximize the outcome for clients. Interface Consulting’s international arbitration experience and lessons learned while handling hundreds of international oil and gas, energy, and infrastructure projects enables the firm to offer the following services:
- Assist with the preparation of statements of claim or statements of defense and counterclaims.
- Assist with witness statement preparation.
- Respond to internal issues and discovery requests. International arbitrations often have limited document discovery that restricts evidence gathering and prevents “fishing expeditions.” Interface Consulting is aware of these requirements and can help tailor document production requests using narrow and specific document categories related to the issues in dispute.
- Analyze quantum, critical path, schedule delays and disruptions, standard of care, project changes, and other engineering- and construction-related issues.
- Communicate complex issues through high-impact graphics, illustrations, and demonstrative evidence that are easy to understand.
- Prepare well-structured and documented expert reports and rebuttal of opposing expert reports.
- Coordinate with other experts. Interface Consulting has successfully worked with opposing experts to reach agreement on various matters, substantially reducing the disputed issues to be decided by the tribunal.
- Provide ad hoc assistance to the tribunal.
- Present credible, concise, and persuasive testimony before arbitration tribunals including “hot tubbing” of experts. With hot tubbing of experts, Interface Consulting’s expert testifies concurrently with the opposing expert, enabling each expert to question the other, rather than each expert reporting in isolation to the tribunal.
Interface Consulting’s recent international arbitrational and testimonial experience includes the following:
- In an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration in Paris, France, between a North African energy company and a European EPC contractor, Interface Consulting analyzed close to $1 billion in claims for engineering changes, schedule delays, and other construction claim issues. The dispute arose from a multi-billion US dollar EPC contract to design and build an oil and gas production facility in North Africa.
- In an International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Court of Arbitration, Interface Consulting responded to the opposing expert and testified at the hearing regarding various project management issues and other claim items. The dispute involved the design and construction of a 1,200 MW combined cycle power plant in the Middle East.
- In a matter held under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) rules and procedures, Interface Consulting’s experts testified on schedule delay and construction management issues. The project involved a retrofitted bio-ethanol plant that suffered delays and increased costs.
- In a dispute filed under the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC), the firm’s experts testified regarding the construction management and schedule delay of a bio-diesel plant with a 100,000-tonne-per-year production capacity.
- Interface Consulting consultants also testified as experts in a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) arbitration involving an LNG facility in Yemen.
Projects performed across the globe involving parties in multiple countries often include arbitration provisions in the construction contracts that address potential disputes. These dispute resolution provisions often stipulate a specific arbitration forum, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Court of Arbitration, or the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). International arbitration forums provide an effective and efficient method for resolving complex construction disputes. Interface Consulting provides engineering and construction expertise to assist parties in preparing for an arbitration hearing, settling disputes, or testifying on complex construction issues. Interface Consulting offers extensive experience reviewing, analyzing, and advising on international construction contracts.