Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction.  Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines they nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Executive Vice President, Construction

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella manages the construction contract claims division globally. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages. Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. 

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Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise.

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Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May-2019). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified over 150 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

VERTEX Offers Basic Consultant Methamphetamine-affected Property Refresher Training

April 4, 2018

VERTEX’s Thomas Koch, CIH, MEPM, Vice President of Industrial Hygiene/EHS Services will be leading a Basic Consultant Methamphetamine-affected Property Refresher Training on May 1st in our Denver office. This 8-hour training course will cover topics about meth-affected property as well as an overview of related statutes and regulations. We will also discuss assessments, sampling procedures, updated industrial…

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2018 State of the Construction Industry

March 30, 2018

William J. McConnell PE, JD, MSCE, CDT, Chief Executive Officer of VERTEX, Presents his Annual Assessment of the Construction Industry S P O I L E R  A L E R T The US economy has expanded, albeit slowly, for the past 8+ years. The construction industry, which over-corrected during the Great Recession, has rebounded…

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VERTEX's Brendan Phelan Presenting at BACE Claims Conference

March 28, 2018

VERTEX’s Brendan Phelan will be presenting at the BACE Claims Conference along with Linda Smith, Esq. of Morrison Mahoney. The topic of the presentation will be “The Complex Nature of Microbial Claims Management.” This section of the conference will provide continuing credits for adjusters in the following states: NH, FL, TX, OK & NC. When: Wednesday, March…

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VERTEX Exhibiting at The Florida Bar Construction Law Institute

March 8, 2018

VERTEX’s Kevin Maxwell and Dan Mondo will be attending and exhibiting at the 11th Annual Florida Bar Construction Law Institute in Orlando, Florida on March 9th and 10th. The purpose of the Institute is to gather leading, experienced and establish construction law practitioners, contractors and other industry professionals for a two-day seminar focused on in-depth, leading…

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VERTEX Sponsors 4th Annual Risk Control Event at Coors Field

March 7, 2018

VERTEX is proud to be the drink sponsor at the 4th Annual Risk Control for Architects, Engineers and Environmental Professionals event at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on April 11th. This year’s topic will be Trends and Strategies for Improved Performance and Profitability. Presentations will be given by legal, insurance and risk control professionals in connection with…

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Blog

Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination
Part 3

April 12, 2018

As we conclude our series, we will discuss which completion costs should not be considered reasonable. What Costs are Not Reasonable for Recovery? Costs may have been incurred in the completion of the work that are unreasonable or would otherwise be unnecessary had the non-default party acted prudently. Even when acting prudently, some costs may not…

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Ladder Safety Training Video

April 11, 2018

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), over 500,000 people are treated each year for ladder related falls. Whether you use a ladder out in the field, in your workplace or at home, safety should always be your number one priority.  At VERTEX, safety is part of our culture. We recently hosted…

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Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination:
Part 2

April 2, 2018

As we continue the series, we will discuss which construction completion costs should be considered reasonable. When Are Costs Deemed Reasonable? Reasonableness can be a subjective determination. In cases of construction contracts under federal contracting guidelines, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contemplates that “a cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does…

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Occupational Health & Safety Standards in Canada

March 27, 2018

In Canada, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is covered by Acts (legislation) or statutes and other related regulations promulgated under federal, provincial, and/or territorial regulations. Regardless of jurisdiction, the key components of OH&S regulations in Canada are similar across the country. However, the details of the legislation, the mechanism of implementation, and enforcement may vary…

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Dewatering and Groundwater Treatment Systems

March 22, 2018

One of the most overlooked and undervalued planning activities during a development or redevelopment project involves the evaluation of groundwater and dewatering on a project site and how the results may adversely affect the project environmentally, logistically and financially. If overlooked, improper planning could result in the risk of a project shutdown, non-compliance with local,…

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