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

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Ms. 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. 

Executive Vice President

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

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

Mr. 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.

Chief Executive Officer

William McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE

William McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE

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 Expands Civil Engineering Design Team in Northeast

November 1, 2017

  VERTEX is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Andrew Chagnon, PE, as Vice President, Civil Engineering. As Vice President, Andrew will focus on expanding VERTEX’s civil planning and design services in the Northeast. “I’m excited to partner with a company that so clearly shares my commitment to a quality product backed by impeccable customer…

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VERTEX at Pacific Building Trade Expo in Honolulu

October 19, 2017

VERTEX is attending and exhibiting at the 18th Annual Pacific Building Trade Expo, presented by Honblue and produced by the Honolulu chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Honolulu) and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) on Tuesday, October 24th at the Hawaii Convention Center. Stop by our booth and meet Sam Reed, AIA, CCCA…

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VERTEX Supports 12th Annual Women in Construction Conference

October 17, 2017

VERTEX is proudly sponsoring and attending the 12th Annual Women in Construction Conference, held in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, October 24th. Since 2006, the conference has provided an avenue for younger women to learn from senior executives and industry professionals and offers networking and mentoring opportunities to all attendees. More than 300 men and women…

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VERTEX Will be at the RealShare Healthcare Conference

October 10, 2017

VERTEX is pleased to participate on a panel of educators in the upcoming RealShare Healthcare Conference in December. The healthcare industry progresses to transform, as it responds to the two-prong directive of serving a growing patient population while controlling the inflation in the price of the services it delivers. In addition to market pressures, the…

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State of the Industry

September 30, 2017

William J. McConnell PE, JD, MSCE, CDT, Chief Executive Officer of VERTEX, Presents his Annual Assessment of the US Economy, Construction and Surety Industries  As our valued customers, we want to share it with you.  S P O I L E R  A L E R T The US market is in its 99th month…

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Blog

Best Practices - Documenting Costs in Construction Post-Termination

September 19, 2017

Construction is fraught with challenges; following a few best practices will go a long way if terminations occur. If it is worth doing, it is worth documenting: Project records are key to identifying and substantiating completion costs. Records will be requested and must be furnished to the defaulted party upon request. Good project records often…

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Roof Claims and Reconstruction in Florida - What You Need to Know

September 14, 2017

Insurance claims will be common in the state of Florida in the coming weeks and the job of repair and reconstruction will begin. The Florida Existing Building Code (FEBC) and the Florida Building Code, Residential (FRC) have some nuances when it comes to reroofing.  If you are involved in the forensics of roofing claims, or…

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The 2017 Hurricane Season - How it Compares

September 6, 2017

It is obvious that we are in the midst of a very active and dangerous hurricane season. The development of consecutive storms: Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, has a lot of people asking questions. Many are also struck by the intensity of the 2017 hurricane season. Harvey had record breaking rainfall with 51.88″ recorded. That’s now…

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How Construction Companies Should Approach the Upcoming OSHA Silica Standard Revision

August 30, 2017

As of September 23, 2017, many construction and manufacturing firms must comply with the revised construction and general industry Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for respirable crystalline silica to reduce cases of lung cancer, silicosis, and other diseases in construction workers. Options for exposure control methods can be found on OSHA provided Table 1,…

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Test Your Claims Knowledge: Hail Damage to Roofing Membranes

August 8, 2017

Single-ply roofing membranes are the fastest growing new and re-roofing products in the industry. Insurance carriers and law firms are faced with hail damage claims every day and need forensic engineers and structural/building materials experts to assess the facts. So here is a quick overview of what hail damage looks like in two of the…

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