EXPERTISE

PMG has an established reputation for expert determinations, known as “Schiedsgutachten” in Switzerland. Advice and expert opinions are essential to optimise contract performance, to understand complicated issues, or to protect precise interests. PMG’s added-value advice is expressed by expert members of the firm, who rely on over sixty specialists in specific fields of engineering.

PMG are appropriate technically or economically as:
  • court-appointed experts (CAE)
  • expert witnesses
  • party appointed experts
  • unilateral experts
  • technical advocates
Benefits for PMG clients:
  • feasibility studies
  • advice on technical, contractual and financial matters
  • budget, time and quality respectful solutions
  • reliable and pertinent certifiable quality expertise
  • plant performance investigations
  • network information banking with PMG as unique

AMICABLE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) AND MEDIATION

The risks of differences, disagreement and disputes are inherent to any agreement process. PMG has experienced that unforeseeable events create unwelcome pressure on the parties. Disagreement on interpretation of contractual provisions – which is no more than a mere difference of opinion – can snowball into an extended dispute when left unmanaged.

ADR stands for all forms of amicable dispute resolution – Mediation being but one of them – to help parties reach a settlement agreement. In Mediation, a relevant individual known as the “Neutral” conducts the procedure based on consensus and trust. The MEDALOA procedure (Mediation and Last Offer Arbitration) is an additional proven technique.

PMG provides result-oriented services:
  • identification of appropriate ADR techniques
  • drafting of contractual ADR clauses
  • representation as Mediator, Facilitator, Neutral
  • consistent operation in entire ADR procedure
Advantages of ADR techniques:
  • ensure conduct is confidential, impartial and ethical
  • non disruptive to the business relationship
  • result-oriented and cost-effective
  • work from common perspectives and goals
  • promote win/win paradigm

ARBITRATION

Even with sincere efforts to avoid disputes, the parties migth end up facing each other in arbitration or litigation cannot be excluded. PMG has observed that Arbitration, a private, confidential and tailored dispute resolution technique, is often less time-consuming and expensive than litigation.

An arbitrator-engineer would be welcomed in some cases by the Parties and the Tribunal. PMG’s over 25 years of experience in international arbitration qualifies them to be arbitrator-engineers or to be named as technical experts.

PMG provides essential services in arbitration :
  • Language skills
  • Experience in international business matters
  • Clarification of legal and technical issues to Tribunals

PMG’s partners have been involved in ad hoc and institutional arbitration cases settled under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are fluent in the rules of other institutions such as the “Camera Arbitrale Nazionale e Internazionale di Milano”, the “Internationales Schiedsgericht der Wirtschaftkammer Oesterreich”, the Cairo Regional Center for International Arbitration, UNCITRAL, etc.

CONTRACT MANAGEMENT

By working at contract’s conception PMG can reduce the potential damage and the impact of differences. Including dispute resolution tools in the initial conditions of contract reinforces efficient claims management.

PMG provides essential services in dispute prevention :

Before:

  • drafting of contract conditions, ADR or DB clauses
  • analysing tender documents, design, the site, soil investigations
  • selecting appropriate construction methods and equipments
  • assessment of risks

During:

  • preventive identification of differences
  • progressive contractual records
  • warning system installation and assistance in resolving issues at project level
  • damage assessment
  • relationship management between on-site and office based staff, and recruiting

After:

  • acceptance of Work
  • commissioning and tests

CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

In construction or industrial contracts, energy is notoriously channeled to technical, financial and political issues as well as internal and external communication. However, PMG strongly recommends foreseeing sufficient resources for potential claims management issues.

PMG provides essential services in claims management:

At strategic level:

  • analysis of existing project documents
  • initial assessment of key issues followed by a strategy proposal

At operational level:

  • Claim establishment to a tribunal for any one of the parties involved if needed
  • Bridging technical, legal and financial jargon
  • Analysis of time schedule, distinguishing between non-culpable and culpable delays and using the theory of equivalence for determining damages
  • Analysis of impact of prolongation, contract variations, recovery of disputed variations to the contract

At dispute resolution phase (arbitration or litigation):

  • Drawing up of claims or counter-claims
  • Support to claimant or respondant during the proceeding
  • Assistance to the lawyers as “technical advocate”
Seven major causes of claims:
Origin of claims: %
Delays in completion 78
Employer's planning / coordination 20
Design changes 20
Increase of manpower, strikes 15
Delays of third parties, subcontractor 15
Climatic conditions 9
Acceleration of Works 6
Source: Dr. H.W. Swoboda, Methoden für Quantifizierung und Nachweis von Zusatzansprüchen.

DISPUTE BOARDS (DB)

Dispute Boards are ideally set up at the outset of the contract and remain in place throughout its duration. The three types of DB are: Dispute Review Board, Dispute Adjudication Board and Combined Dispute Board. DBs assist Parties in resolving disagreements by rendering determinations either in the form of a Recommendation or a Decision. PMG recommends this tool for mid- to long-term contracts.

PMG provides result-oriented Dispute Board services:
  • selection of the appropriate option
  • drafting clauses, agreements, procedures
  • critical, constructive analysis of procedure
  • submittal of position papers and assistance during the procedure
  • representation as DB Member or DB Chairman
Advantages of DB techniques:
  • efficient evolution of contracts by dealing with disagreements as they occur
  • increased probability of rapid and amicable settlements
  • eases overall relationship between Parties (“scarecrow effect”) through continuous presence
  • 95% success rate in resolution of disputes during the contract
  • positive impact of DB Recommendation or Decision should the case continue to litigation or arbitration

PMG partners have gained valuable experience as DB Members and as chairs of Dispute Boards in countries such as China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iceland, Italy, Lesotho, Luxemburg, Portugal, and Qatar.

A PMG partner chaired the ICC DB Task Force and drafted the new ICC DB Rules, which came into force on September 1, 2004. These Rules are considered as the most balanced and modern existing rules worldwide.

CUSTOMISED SERVICE

Our specialists exploit their professional experience and international exposure, finding individual solutions to situations that might disrupt your professional activity.

Assignments entrusted to PMG that were particularly rewarding for our clients:
  • Organisation of training seminars on prevention and resolution of disputes at an executive level, respectively at project management level in accordance with specific needs and including personal discussions with the speakers
  • Lectures at international conferences on dispute prevention and resolution of disputes
  • Member or Chairman positions in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Task Forces in drafting the Rules of Expertise, ADR and Dispute Boards
  • Membership in the ICC Arbitration Commission
  • Lectures at the Faculty of Law, Universities of Geneva / Lausanne, Master Business Law course, on the topics of international construction contract and prevention of disputes; lectures at various technical universities and faculty of economics
  • Member of Swiss extra-parliamentarian Commission dealing with the construction of railways lines crossing the Alps (Gothard and Lötschberg tunnels)
  • Chair of Swiss Chamber of Technical and Scientific Forensic Experts- SWISS EXPERTS
  • Board Member of Swiss Experts Certification SA
  • Members of the panel entrusted with the critical evaluation of the FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils) Silver Book “EPC Turnkey Project Conditions of Contract”, appointed by the French Association of International Contractors (SEFI).
  • Chair of a group of international technical experts for the Cleuson-Dixence hydro-electrical power scheme
  • Commissioner at the United Nations Compensation Commission (Gulf War damages) question: are these examples of customised service?