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Frank G. Adams, PE, and Cristopher Farrar, Esq., underscore the importance of politics and culture surrounding international construction projects in a presentation to prominent Houston lawyers

HOUSTON, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/– Frank G. Adams, PE, of Interface Consulting International, Inc., and Cristopher Farrar of DLA Piper presented their construction insights to an audience of prominent lawyers in the Houston Bar Association International Law Section. The April 9 presentation, “Bidding International Construction Projects,” was hosted at Porter Hedges LLP’s downtown offices as part of the regularly scheduled HBA ILS monthly series of luncheons, which feature presentations by lawyers and subject matter experts on topics related to international law.

Among the topics Adams and Farrar covered in their comprehensive presentation were bidding; contracts; governing law; technical, financial and legal risks; and dispute resolution. Both drew from their first-hand experience in the international construction sector. Adams has more than 35 years of experience in over 50 countries as an engineer, project manager and construction management expert, and Farrar has 20 years of international project development experience representing owners, developers and contractors.  

Knowing the politics and culture of the geographical area where you intend to build is one of the most important aspects of bidding on international construction projects. To illustrate the importance of knowing the region where you intend to place your project, Farrar posed the question, “What is the political environment in which you’re working?”

“As a contractor or owner, it is vital to understand the culture of the country of a potential project or facility operation, particularly the mentality of the local labor,” said Adams.

Adams and Farrar also discussed the importance of governing law and highlighted the critical variables that must be considered in the event of a dispute.

“Look at the parties involved and who could be involved. If I get an arbitration award, will I be able to enforce it in that country?” asked Farrar.

Adams noted that an increasing number of international contracts are now mandating mediation clauses in addition to the numerous arbitration provisions typically included. He also commented on trends he is seeing in the international construction market, such as the use of more consortiums and joint venture involvement, as well as contractor financing and part-ownership investment in a project.

“These strategies are being used on larger projects to increase the competitive edge of the contractor or consortium,” said Adams.

The presentation was enhanced by participation from the audience of Houston-area lawyers, including those who focus on international law, serve as in-house counsel for global-based firms and handle complex disputes.

About Interface Consulting:

As engineers and construction consultants since 1986, Interface Consulting International, Inc. (, has provided a wide range of consulting and expert services to the construction- and energy-related industries in a variety of challenging settings – from the project field to the boardroom and courtroom. Interface Consulting is an authority on construction claims and construction management consulting with experience in more than 40 countries worldwide.