Forensic Consulting Services

Our talented team of construction, engineering, accounting, and architectural professionals have worked on thousands of payment and performance bond claims that, in aggregate, relate to billions of dollars of work and that spans every sector and every division of construction. In addition, we have served as a completion contractor on projects of all sizes that are located throughout the globe.

Forensic Accounting Services

VERTEX provides construction accounting analysis including complete exposure analysis, joint control account administration, payment bond claim accounting, claim payment administration, accounting software analysis, financial statement evaluation, asset evaluation, salvage valuation, budgeting and cash flow analysis, payroll monitoring, prevailing wage and labor claims, income payroll and sales/use tax analysis, accounting office supervision, interim CFO and accounting staff, cost to complete estimates, construction delay cost analysis, claim and lien release negotiations, and specialized surety reports. VERTEX provides the expertise in construction and fund accounting to meet and exceed client expectations.

Performance Bond Claim Consulting

VERTEX has a deep bench of experienced surety claims professionals that have worked on thousands of performance bond claims that relate to all divisions of construction. In the event of a performance bond demand, our team can offer the following services: pre-termination evaluation; termination review; cost-to-complete estimate; project relet; project monitoring; contract administration; latent defect evaluation; overpayment evaluation; and closeout administration.

Payment Bond Claim Consulting

VERTEX’s team of engineers, construction managers, architects, and accountants assist surety providers review payment bond claims from subcontractors, suppliers, labor claimants, and tax organizations. Our understanding of contracts, state law, federal law, FARS, construction means and methods, and fair market value allows VERTEX to provide sureties the information that is needed to make timely decisions on the proper amounts to pay on individual claims.

Surety Completion Contracting

VERTEX provides completion contracting services on projects of all types and sizes where the original contractor does not complete its contract work due to a termination for convenience or for cause. VERTEX understands the subcontractor ratification process and intricacies involved in the proper estimation of partially completed work. VERTEX completes partially completed and typically distressed projects throughout the globe. While serving as a completion contractor, VERTEX maintains the best interests of the surety through the course of construction.

Construction Claim Consulting

VERTEX has full time construction claims personnel that are experts in assembling affirmative claims for overpayment, differing site conditions, added scope, cardinal changes, delays damages, loss of productivity, maladministration, wrongful termination, etc. This same team is equally qualified to rebut claims asserted against sureties and their principals. In the event that the dispute is elevated to mediation, arbitration, or litigation, sureties can rely on VERTEX team of experts to provide strong testimony.

Expert Services

VERTEX’s pool of experts has individually testified up to 150+ times in state courts, federal courts, traditional arbitration (AAA, JAG, etc.), and ICC arbitration. Our experts are qualified in construction claims, engineering issues, cost estimating, allocation, construction means and methods, surety completion contracting, and surety claims administration.

Funds Control

When funding a contractor, our clients require experienced personnel in construction and accounting to ensure receipt of funds from the project owner and proper disbursement of funds to subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, labor unions, etc. VERTEX provides expertise in fund control to ensure timely and accurate services.

Staff Augmentation

Often times VERTEX is called upon to augment the surety’s staff be it assisting in claim writing or acting as the Owner’s Representative on behalf of the surety. Some of our Staff Augmentation Services include project scheduling, project engineering, assistant project management, senior project management, quality control, safety, risk management, assistant superintendence, and general superintendence. 

Document Management

Surety providers frequently retain VERTEX’s IT experts to copy and digitally retain all files from bond principals when surety obligations are triggered because of payment and /or performance issues. VERTEX typically collects accounting information, contract documents, emails, letters, etc. and preserves the information on our cloud server, which can retain any amount of information for as long as necessary. This service allows sureties to rest easy knowing that relevant project information will not go missing overnight.

 

Contract Claim Disputes

Our construction claims team prepare affirmative claims and rebuttal reports for disputes that involve: scheduling, scope, productivity, differing site conditions, maladministration, over-payment, unjust enrichment, default termination, etc. VERTEX works on claims that range from several thousand dollars to several hundred million dollars.

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Key Personnel

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Executive Vice President, Surety

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. 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. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Mark Degenaars

Mark Degenaars, LEED GA

Managing Director, Construction Services

Mark Degenaars is the Managing Director of the Construction Services vertical within The Vertex Companies, Inc. He has been with VERTEX for over eight years with a primary focus as a consultant to the surety claims industry and private public developers. Mr. Degenaars brings over 20 years of project management, facility management, private / public development and construction experience to each assignment. Mr. Degenaars has successfully managed a large variety of projects ranging from various types of vertical construction to heavy highway / civil design projects. Mr. Degenaars has served as an expert and fact witness for a variety of projects. Prior to joining VERTEX, Mr. Degenaars owned and managed his own consulting firm for nearly a decade.

News

VERTEX Acquires Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI)

October 1, 2019

Michael Plainte, VERTEX, and Archie Barrett, CEI (October 2019) The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI). The agreement was signed in the presence of senior leadership of both organizations including Archie Barrett, President and Owner of CEI; Jaron Frieden, Managing Director of VERTEX; Michael Plainte,…

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VERTEX's CEO Bill McConnell Featured in Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine

September 12, 2019

As VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, states, “Education has no finish line.” Bill has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a J.D. degree from the University of Denver, a M.S. degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. He also completed…

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VERTEX Wins 2019 WebAward

September 10, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be named the 2019 Best Environmental Website by Web Marketing Association. Now in its 17th year, the WebAward program is the longest running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development. The WebAwards are recognized as the…

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VERTEX's Bill McConnell and Mark Degenaars to Present at Pearlman 2019

September 3, 2019

VERTEX’s Bill McConnell, CEO, and Mark Degenaars, Managing Director of Construction Services, are presenting at the 26th Annual Pearlman Conference in Woodinville, WA on September 5th, 2019. Bill will be presenting on “Privilege Issues in the Surety’s Initial Claim Investigation” and Mark will be presenting on “Thinking Outside the Box: Utilizing a Surety’s Own Account…

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VERTEX Ranked #156 in ENR's Top 200 Environmental Firms

September 3, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be ranked #156 in ENR’s 2019 Top 200 Environmental Firms. Firms are ranked based on the % of their 2018 gross revenue from environmental services.  ENR reports that a strong economy in the U.S. and in some other key global markets pushed the ENR 2019 Top 200 Environmental Firms to revenue levels…

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Blog

What is an Expert Witness and how can they help me?

March 5, 2019

With the continued growth in litigation over the past several years, VERTEX has seen a steady increase in expert consulting work to support our clients. VERTEX has been retained to act on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in regards to liability and damages. The main goal of expert consulting is to add value to the…

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The Implications of Pacing Delays for Construction Projects

September 26, 2018

What is a pacing delay? A contractor may slow its pace of work after identifying forthcoming owner-caused delays to the critical path. Similarly, an owner may decide to decelerate its rate of production for tasks it is responsible for on the project if it foresees critical path delays which are the fault of the contractor….

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The Challenge of Proving Causation in Construction Productivity Claims

September 20, 2018

What are construction productivity claims?  Construction productivity claims usually involve a contractor’s argument that the actions or inactions of a project party have adversely affected its productivity rate. A claim analyst must gain a thorough understanding of the consequences of those actions or inactions as well as insight into the circumstances under which the claim…

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The Eichleay Formula and Delay Claims – What You Need to Know

June 8, 2018

In addition to project-specific costs, contractors rely on project revenue to support, or “absorb”, their home office general and administrative (G&A) costs. If project duration increases but the associated revenue does not, the same amount of revenue must be stretched even further. As a result, when a contractor submits a delay claim for an event…

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Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination: Part 3

April 12, 2018

So far, we have covered how to determine if completion costs are reasonable and which completion costs should be considered reasonable. 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…

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