Expert & Advisory Services
Comprised of experienced industry professionals, our team design and implement solutions that enhance the effectiveness of client teams.
SJA’s Expert & Advisory Services team supports our clients in the formation and delivery of effective solutions to add value to the outcome of their projects.
With professional training, hands-on industry experience and highly-developed skills, our team support clients through all phases of a project; from procurement through to delivery and project finalisation. If necessary, the Expert & Advisory Services team support extends to claims and disputes through the provision of claim preparation and claim defence services, contract and insurance claims management and independent expert witness services in the resolution of disputes in all dispute resolution forums and jurisdictions.
A significant offering within the Expert & Advisory Services division is our expert witness service, led by Steve Abbott, Managing Director and founder of SJA. Steve and our in-house specialists, supported by the wider Advisory Services team, provide expert evidence in the fields of delay, disruption, cost, quantum, construction methodology, project management and construction defects.
Our Expert & Advisory Services
- Expert Services
- Change Control
- Claims Advice and Claims Preparation
- Commercial Training
- Contract Administration
- Defect Management
- Dispute Management and Litigation Support
- Project Commercial Governance and Commercial Audit
- Project Risk Management
As an integral part of its’ Expert & Advisory Services division, SJA is a leading independent expert services practice, specialising in the provision of construction expert witness services to owners, contractors, subcontractors and law firms in litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation proceedings across most construction sectors.
SJA’s experts commit to the highest levels of integrity, quality and objectivity, delivering detailed analyses in a clear and concise manner and are committed to supporting clients with accurate, unbiased opinions allowing them to objectively assess their position and ultimately achieve optimum results and outcomes.
SJA’s experts are adept and experienced in providing their evidence in the form of written reports and oral evidence under examination before the appointed dispute resolution tribunal up to and including the Supreme Court.
Forensic assessment, reporting and expert witness services for matters relating to:
- delay costs, loss and expense
- quantum relating to variations and other claims
- the proficiency of the project management and other disciplines involved in the delivery of construction projects
- defect inspections and reporting including the quantification of remediation works
The requirement to effectively manage change is critical to the successful outcome of a project from both a time and cost perspective. The SJA Advisory team provides a full change management service across all sectors of the industry to either principals or contractors under a head contract arrangement or subcontractor, supplier or service provider under any form of subcontract or supplier agreement. This service includes the identification, notification, measurement, quantification (cost and time) and submission and agreement of changes arising from altered project requirements or directed (express or implicit) changes to scope, specification or design documentation.
- Development and documentation of change control management plans and associated training
- Changes that manifest during the design development phase on D&C Contracts
- Change following issue of approved for construction documentation
- Changes that arise during or as a result of the typical request for information process
- Changes that are the subject of a principal or authorised principal representative direction, instruction or some confirmation thereof
- Changes implicit from the issue or exchange of correspondence, design documentation, other notices, sketches emails or the like or other act or action of the contract principal or its representative
- Assessment of contractor submission claims for change including compliance with contracted terms
The SJA Advisory Services team fulfils both claim preparation and defence assignments by the provision of experienced practitioner resources to compile submissions in prosecution or defence. The SJA Advisory Services team can be deployed in augmentation of its client’s team, to provide advice to the client or lead and be responsible in the role of client’s claims manager.
Our role may involve interpreting contractual entitlements and influencing decision making in respect of the formation and handling of a claim, analysis and tactical positioning for pursuit or defence of claims utilising the extensive knowledge and experience of our Advisory Services team.
- Review of basis of entitlement
- Assessment of quantum (cost and time) and allocation of responsibility
- Record keeping
- Reviewing and authoring contractual correspondence
- Provision of specialist support resources
- Management of client’s claims team including legal advisors, lay and expert witnesses
- Development of submission documents (in support of or defence of a claim)
- Claim negotiation support.
SJA’s Advisory Services team provides interactive structured commercial training programs comprising topical off the shelf or bespoke training courses to suit client’s commercial needs.
- Identification of training needs
- Course content development
- Course delivery, facilitation and collaboration
- Provision of ‘off the shelf’ content
The SJA Advisory Services team offers a whole of life commercial management and contract administration advisory or practitioner service to contractors and contract principals across all sectors of the industry from project inception to completion. By the deployment of experienced industry practitioners of all levels of seniority, SJA provides added value to its clients on either side of a construction contract relationship, whether it be a head contract or some form of subordinate contract agreement.
SJA’s Advisory Services team provide the benefit of their expertise and experience to give direction from the bid preparation stage through pre-contract negotiation and award to post-contract management and administration to final account and liability discharge of a project.
- Commercial management: tender preparation, contract negotiation and closure phases
- Project commercial governance and oversight
- Supply chain contractual instrument preparation (in conjunction with client legal advisors)
- Supply chain commercial management - procurement packaging, market engagement, award, delivery management and administration and close out
- Contract special provisions drafting in conjunction with client legal advisors, negotiation and conforming documents for execution
- Preparation and submission of progress payment claims pursuant to contract requirements and relevant state security of payment (SoP) legislation
- Responding to SoP claims including the preparation of compliant payment schedules
- Identification, notification, measurement, valuation, submission, negotiation and agreement of variations and change
- Identification, preparation, submission, negotiation and settlement of claims for additional compensation (cost and time)
- Assessment of claims made (cost and time), including compliance with contracting terms in their submission
- Periodic and ongoing project commercial reporting – tender cost analysis, setting of budgets and work breakdown structures, projected cashflow, cost, revenue and cash forecasting (consistent with client governance requirements)
- Contract and commercial risk and opportunity awareness, management and forecasting of cost of risk mitigation and opportunity optimisation
- Budget management, monitoring and reporting of performance against budget in accordance with client corporate requirements
- Periodic forecast of costs to completion
- Tracking and allocation of additional revenue and cost generated by variations or change
- Margin management in accordance with client corporate governance requirements
- Project out turn cost and management of contingency, including assessment of claims risk
- Contract close out and liability finalisation
- Defect management services
An unfortunate reality, construction defects can plague projects in some shape or form. Defects often manifest in the post completion, in the warranty period and beyond. Left unmanaged, construction defects can become a major issue for builders and owners alike and become increasingly costly and time consuming to properly rectify. SJA’s Advisory Services team include qualified and fully accredited personnel, with extensive experience in building inspection, defect investigation and identification, causation assessment, rectification scoping and remediation cost assessment.
- Provision of building defect inspections and forensic investigations as to cause, preparation of independent expert reports and expert witness services in relation to construction defects, remediation scope and cost quantum in accordance with relevant codes of conduct
- Forensic inspection and analysis of construction methodologies and defect causation (systemic and localised issues) and reporting to building owners and contractors
- Invasive investigation and testing of building elements, including controlled flood testing
- Construction defect identification and determination of liability in accordance with prevailing contract, specifications, Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards
- Performing building inspections and preparation of reports in accordance with relevant industry codes and standards
- Management of building defect warranty claims (commercial and residential)
- Provision of best practice construction methodology review and advice
- Preparation of independent expert reports and provision of testimony in formal dispute proceedings in various jurisdictions including before civil administrative tribunals and courts
SJA’s Advisory Services team provides a project-management approach to the management of disputes by harnessing the extensive experience of its’ in-house practitioners in developing and implementing bespoke matter-management strategies to provide leadership and direction in the running of the dispute process. This approach provides transparency and client-retained control at a level that is tailored to instil client confidence and trust.
SJA’s Advisory Services extends to the provision of advisory personnel who are legally qualified (but non-practicing) to give support to in-house and external legal teams acting as technical expert members of the legal team.
Typically, SJA is briefed to provide technical advice to the client’s legal team for the preparation of the best case for the client in the circumstances.
SJA’s Advisory Services team provide early evaluation of a dispute based on its assessment of the commercial and contractual merits of the underlaying claim. Early evaluation in this way assists client’s in their decision making and in the formulation of strategies for resolution. Once the strategy has been settled, SJA will perform case management services in conjunction with the client’s legal team.
- Identification of evidence required to support or defend claims for cost and /or time
- Identification of skill sets, and assembly of teams required for the circumstances
- Performance of cost and/or time analysis
- Assistance in the preparation of statements of claim
- Creating and maintaining the schedule of key dates and stages in the dispute process
- Coordination of the client’s claims team and technical resources
- Conducting document searches
- Formulation of questions for experts
- Support in the deposition of lay witnesses
- Support in the preparation of instructions for retained independent experts
SJA’s Advisory Services team can provide experienced and qualified procurement practitioners who have deep knowledge of the key procurement drivers, processes, contract forms, procurement methods and business governance principles to deliver a risk-assessed and responsive procurement management service which drives performance, accountability and integrity into the supply chain.
The services are provided to project owners and contractors.
- Development of procurement objectives which are linked to business objectives and over-arching governance and accountability requirements
- Assisting in decision making identifying the need to procure, the strategic reasons for procurement and defining those requirements and support processes
- Assessing market competition for capacity and capability and defining procurement scopes to maximise competition
- Development and implementation of tendering processes, including defining evaluation criteria and the subsequent assessment of tender responses and providing recommendations
- Negotiation and contract formation
- Administration of procurement contracts to final account, inclusive of dispute resolution
As industry experienced practitioners with corporate management experience, SJA’s Advisory Services team have relevant and practical knowledge in designing, developing, implementing, assessing and auditing of project commercial governance frameworks and assessing whether the governance requirements are being appropriately applied to provide insights for opportunities for performance improvement. This service can be provided at any stage in the lifecycle of a project.
An integral part of project governance is the provision of an independent audit as to project health against time, cost and other specified corporate key result areas.
- Audit of compliance with contract administration requirements
- Assessment of timeliness and effectiveness of procurement activities
- Assessment of compliance with corporate governance requirements including delegations of authority
- Structured review of time and cost performance in respect targets/budgets and project schedules
- Assessment of change management process effectiveness
- Information management flow and exchange and associated record keeping
- Assessment of the use and effectiveness of proposed or in use commercial process and procedures
Utilising the individual, collective knowledge and experience of the SJA Advisory Services team, gained across a wide variety of project delivery methods and contracting arrangements, SJA provide services designed to assist clients in the identification, evaluation, quantification, management and development of accountable risk responses to project risks and opportunities.
- Development of contracting risk strategies
- Developing and implementing relevant project controls to identify trends which highlight risk to key result areas as and when they emerge
- Development of change management process and their implementation
- Analysis of schedule, scope and cost for uncertainty
- Development of associated action plans in response to identified or emerging risks
- Project risk peer reviews designed to ensure risks have been identified and have been appropriately actioned and accountability assigned to close out
- Project risk management workshop facilitation
- Lessons learned facilitation and analysis