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 Wishes You a Warm Holiday Season

December 21, 2017

Happy holidays from VERTEX. We had a record breaking year thanks to you! 

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VERTEX Assists USEPA and US Coast Guard in Virgin Islands

December 18, 2017

VERTEX is proud to be assisting USEPA and the US Coast Guard on their mission to help people after the tragic hurricane season in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The New York Times recently published this video that shows the effort involving recovery of sunken and lost vessels, one of the areas where VERTEX is assisting….

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VERTEX Will See You at Brownfields 2017 - Pittsburgh

December 4, 2017

Visit VERTEX at the 2017 National Brownfields Training Conference. We will be at Booth #537 from December 5-7, 2017   BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT SERVICES Brownfield properties come with a unique set of complex environmental and fiscal redevelopment challenges. A keen focus on environmental liability, finance and contract negotiation, cleanup considerations and reuse planning is crucial to…

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VERTEX Exhibiting at Construction Super Conference

December 4, 2017

VERTEX is excited to attend and exhibit at the Construction Super Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The conference starts December 4th and runs through December 6th. Stop by booth 104 to meet some of VERTEX’s Construction and Litigation experts! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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VERTEX Will be at the RealShare Healthcare Conference

December 3, 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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Blog

Hydraulics & Stormwater - What We've Seen from the Trenches

December 23, 2017

Every day, VERTEX’s Forensics team assists insurance carriers and their counsel with numerous claims on various building and property issues. Two recent homeowners’ insurance claim investigations have concerned drainage from adjacent neighboring houses and developments. These claims serve as excellent reminders to be mindful of the effects of hydraulics, water flow, and stormwater management at…

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Construction Cumulative Impact Claims

November 15, 2017

What are Cumulative Impact Claims in construction litigation? If numerous impacts including change orders, directives, differing site conditions, RFI’s, work suspensions, and disruptions affect a construction project, the overall effect of these events is usually greater than the sum of the effect of individual events. Construction claims that occur under such circumstances are referred to as…

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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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