What Corporate Counsel Need to Know About Engaging Forensic Engineers

Andrew Potts, Managing Director, AMOG Consulting, Australia
Don Charrett, Barrister, Arbitrator & Mediator, Melbourne TEC Chambers, Australia

Forensic engineering is the application of the art and science of engineering in the jurisprudence system, requiring the services of appropriately qualified and experienced professional engineers. Forensic engineering may include investigation of the physical causes of accidents and other sources of claims and litigation, preparation of engineering reports, testimony at hearings and trials in administrative or judicial proceedings, and the rendition of advisory opinions to assist the resolution of disputes affecting life or property. Forensic engineers may also be required to give evidence to a tribunal as to the cause and reasonable options for replacement or repair.

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Australia Forensics Consultant May 2012 Vol. 5, No. 19, Spring 2012

Andrew Potts

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Dr. Andrew Potts BE(Hons), MEngSc, PhD, FIEAust, CPEng, FRINA CEng, MSNAME, MAICD Dr Andrew E Potts is the founder and Managing Director of AMOG Consulting. Dr Potts is predominantly engaged by the offshore oil and gas sector on projects relating to hydrodynamic loading and response of fixed and floating offshore structures, submarine pipelines or highly flexible systems such as moorings or flexible risers. This work involves advanced numerical and finite element analyses, complemented by physical model tank testing. It ranges from development of design criteria and concept engineering, through to detailed design of various aspects of facilities, structures, operations and installations. His skills in project management and technical engineering across many disciplines, often see him engaged to provide specialist advice in business plans, project management, specification development, tender evaluation, contract negotiation and assessment of contract deliverables. This work often extends into the field of failure investigation, forensic engineering and the provision of expert witness services. Andrew has extensive experience in supporting legal cases, both as a “clean” and a “dirty” expert. This experience has included working with counsel to frame statement of claims/defence, as well as extensive time in court supporting the critiquing of

Don Charrett

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Dr Charrett is a barrister, arbitrator and mediator, practicing in technology, engineering and construction (TEC) disputes. Prior to joining the Victorian Bar, he worked as a solicitor at a large Australian law firm. His construction law briefs have included litigation, mediation, expert determination, facilitation of experts’ conferences, arbitration and membership of dispute boards. He is an accredited FIDIC trainer, a founding member of the Society of Construction Law Australia, and is the first chairman of Melbourne TEC Chambers, a “virtual” chambers of barristers practising in TEC law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked as an engineer for over 30 years, including 12 years as a director of a consulting engineering firm. Dr Charrett’s engineering experience included computer applications, structural design, managing engineering projects, acting as an expert witness, and management roles in contract negotiation and administration, insurance, international joint ventures and corporate restructuring. From 2012 - 2014 he was non-executive chairman of the Australian consulting engineering company AMOG. Dr Charrett has published widely on legal and engineering subjects, and has presented conference papers, workshops and training courses in Australia and internationally. His legal publications include articles on expert evidence, FIDIC contracts, dispute boards, dispute avoidance, contract risk, forensic engineering, contractual lessons from past projects, design and construct contracts, quantum meruit, solidary liability, professional indemnity insurance and reinsurance. He is joint author of Practical Guide to Engineering and Construction Contracts. In 2014 Dr Charrett established Loots&Charrett Pty Ltd with Philip Loots to conduct training courses on the application and use of contracts in the inception, design, construction and operation of projects.

AMOG Consulting

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AMOG is a leading global provider of specialist analytical and design solutions to the energy, resources, defence, rail and maritime construction industries. AMOG has offices around Australia and in Houston, USA and provides solutions to clients around the world. AMOG has a 21-year record of delivering our industry-leading scientific and engineering know-how to projects of any scale. AMOG’s cutting edge solutions are typically associated with critical design or operational issues enabling its clients to operate more effectively, safely and profitably. A significant portion of AMOG's work each year is forensic engineering and support to legal cases. AMOG’s contribution to such legal cases includes high-end analysis and simulation in support of failure investigations, provision of specialist technical advice and the provision of expert witness services.

Melbourne TEC Chambers

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AMOG is a leading global provider of specialist analytical and design solutions to the energy, resources, defence, rail and maritime construction industries. AMOG has offices around Australia and in Houston, USA and provides solutions to clients around the world. AMOG has a 21-year record of delivering our industry-leading scientific and engineering know-how to projects of any scale. AMOG’s cutting edge solutions are typically associated with critical design or operational issues enabling its clients to operate more effectively, safely and profitably. A significant portion of AMOG's work each year is forensic engineering and support to legal cases. AMOG’s contribution to such legal cases includes high-end analysis and simulation in support of failure investigations, provision of specialist technical advice and the provision of expert witness services.

Australia Forensics Consultant May 2012 Vol. 5, No. 19, Spring 2012

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