Dispute Resolution SOCOTEC

Clay RYALS

Clay RYALS - Senior Managing Director SOCOTEC

Dispute Resolution Expert

Clay RYALS

ABOUT

Mr. Ryals is a Senior Managing Director with SOCOTEC’s Advisory Group. He has over forty years of project management and dispute resolution experience relative to a wide range of large scale engineering and construction projects, including: power generation, petro-chemical, highway, shipbuilding, commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family residential. In addition, Mr. Ryals provides dispute resolution and advisory services in the aerospace, defense, government contracting, and information technology sectors.​

Mr. Ryals’ experience includes the preparation and analysis of delay, acceleration, disruption, and loss of productivity claims.   He has provided expert testimony in Federal and State courts, State and County Boards, Dispute Review Boards, and numerous private and AAA arbitrations on such subjects as CPM schedule analysis, delay and impact analysis, labor productivity, contract administration, project management, and quantification of damages.  ​

His ability to simplify and effectively communicate complex issues has proven invaluable to legal counsel for major owners, contractors, engineers, designers, and sureties around the world.  Long-term clients routinely rely on Mr. Ryals to assist with the negotiation and settlement of complex disputes prior to litigation.

 

Phone +1 (678) 584 9940 

ABOUT

Mr. Ryals is a Senior Managing Director with SOCOTEC’s Advisory Group. He has over forty years of project management and dispute resolution experience relative to a wide range of large scale engineering and construction projects, including: power generation, petro-chemical, highway, shipbuilding, commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family residential. In addition, Mr. Ryals provides dispute resolution and advisory services in the aerospace, defense, government contracting, and information technology sectors.​

Mr. Ryals’ experience includes the preparation and analysis of delay, acceleration, disruption, and loss of productivity claims.   He has provided expert testimony in Federal and State courts, State and County Boards, Dispute Review Boards, and numerous private and AAA arbitrations on such subjects as CPM schedule analysis, delay and impact analysis, labor productivity, contract administration, project management, and quantification of damages.  ​

His ability to simplify and effectively communicate complex issues has proven invaluable to legal counsel for major owners, contractors, engineers, designers, and sureties around the world.  Long-term clients routinely rely on Mr. Ryals to assist with the negotiation and settlement of complex disputes prior to litigation.

 

Phone +1 (678) 584 9940 

Professional Experience & Qualifications

5+ Years with Firm | 30+ Years in Industry

SOCOTEC
2022 - Present | Senior Managing Director

David Pattillo & Associates, LLC - a SOCOTEC Company
2014 - 2021 | Senior Vice President

NAVIGANT CONSULTING, INC.
2005 - 2013 | Director

A.W. HUTCHISON & ASSOCIATES, LLC
1992 - 2005 | Vice President.

THE RYALS COMPANY
1989 - 1991 | Founder and President.

THE HUTCHISON GROUP
1983 - 1989 | President.

TRAMMELL CROW AFFILIATED COMPANIES
1981 - 1983 | Project Engineer and Field Office Manager.

R & R CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
1975 - 1980
 

  • Georgia Institute of Technology - BS Industrial Management - 1981
  • Georgia Institute of Technology - BS Building Construction - 1984

  • PMP – PMI Project Management Professional

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution​
  • CPM Schedule Delay Analysis​
  • Commercial Disputes​
  • Delay Causation Analysis​
  • Expert Witness Testimony​
  • Litigation Support​
  • Quantification of Damages​
  • Preparation & Evaluation of Claims​
  • Productivity Analysis

Expert Accordion Background

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECTS

 

Aerospace / Defense

  • 737 AEW&C – Peace Eagle Program – Ankara, Turkey ​
    • A major U.S. defense contractor retained Mr. Ryals to provide planning, scheduling and quantum advice relative to an international supply contract. The program involved the supply of Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and ground support segments. The role included the analysis of government furnished equipment deliveries, development and testing of mission system software, as well as system-wide integration and testing. Issues addressed included the identification of factors impacting software development progress and productivity and their effect on program completion, identification of actual delay periods (critical and non-critical) and preparation of a preliminary cost analysis in support of on-going settlement negotiations.​​
  • 737 AEW&C – Wedgetail Program – Canberra, Australia ​
    • A U.S. defense contractor retained Mr. Ryals for assistance relative to a foreign military sales contract. The program involved the supply of Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and ground support segments. The role included the analysis of the planned vs. actual progress of various equipment suppliers and sub-contractors, development and testing of mission system software and overall airborne system testing. Additionally, the Contractor requested periodic Monte Carlo risk assessment of its program master schedules. Issues addressed included analysis and identification of factors giving rise to delay, the effect on program completion and preparation of a preliminary cost analysis.​  ​
  • NGIFF 40/45 System Development and Demonstration Program – Seattle, Washington​
    • Mr. Ryals was retained to assist with the development and negotiation of an REA to the U.S. government for its failure to provide government furnished property as required by the Contract.  The program involved the upgrade of the Next Generation Identification Friend or Foe (NGIFF) software/hardware systems utilized by the AWACS airborne platform to provide a real-time picture of friendly, neutral, and hostile air and maritime activity.  Mr. Ryals’ analysis quantified the impact of late and deficient test asset (GFP) on the progress of the software development and testing, as well as impacts encountered during ground and flight testing.  The REA was successfully negotiated without litigation.

 

Cultural / Entertainment / Sports

  • Gaillard Performance Center – Charleston, South Carolina ​
    • The project consists of four primary areas designated as the Performance Hall, Exhibition Hall, Municipal Office Building (MOB), Shared Lobby, and the Municipal Emergency Operations Center (MEOC).  Construction was delayed by approximately one year, forcing the cancellation of scheduled performances.  Mr. Ryals was retained by the general contractor joint venture to perform a schedule analysis to identify the causes of delay and quantify the delay damages incurred by the contractor JV.  Additionally, Mr. Ryals was asked to review seven separate subcontractor claims and assist with resolution of each claim. The Project was delayed as a result of incomplete design and late design changes that impacted the fabrication and erection of structural steel.  The design issues also impacted the acoustical plaster and interior finishes throughout the Project.  Other issues included required adjustments to the baseline schedule and concurrent delays caused by the contractor and its subcontractors.  Mr. Ryals allocated the delay between the various parties and presented its findings at two separate mediations.  He prepared an expert report and provided depositions in preparation for litigation before the matter was favorably settled.

 

Industrial

  • 400kV Electrical Substation and Transmission Line, Basrah, Iraq​
    • Mr. Ryals was retained by the US Army as schedule and quantum expert relative to a dispute arising out of the cause of delays associated with the design, procurement, and construction of a 400kV electrical substation and transmission line in Basrah, Iraq.  Issues included security of the project site and the ability to transport material and equipment safely to the site.  Mr. Ryals prepared and submitted an expert report relative to critical path delays and the indirect costs associated with the delays.  Prior to deposition and trial, the case settled favorably for our client.​
  • ThyssennKrupp Steel Mill – Mobile, Alabama​
    • Mr. Ryals provided independent oversight and reporting to the Board of Directors of a multinational steel manufacturer relative to its $4 Billion greenfield carbon steel processing plant near Calvert, Alabama. The Project scope included the design, construction, start-up and integration of 15 separate major projects on a 3000 acre site. Each project included earthwork, foundations, mechanical equipment and vessel erection, as well as extensive piping, pipe rack, cable tray, conduit and cable installation. As part of the advisory role, Mr. Ryals provided recommendations and assisted with the implementation of revised processes and procedures. Following the initial assignment, Mr. Ryals worked with counsel to evaluate contractor claims, prepare responses and counterclaims, and assist with on-going dispute resolution proceedings. 

 

Infrastructure

  • I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvements-South Florida​
    • This PPP project valued at approx. $1.8 billion was the first of its kind to be built in Florida. The project consists of the reconstruction and widening of the I-595 mainline and all associated improvements to frontage roads and ramps from the I-75/Sawgrass Expressway interchange to the I-595/I-95 interchange, for a total project length of approximately 10.5 miles. Mr. Ryals was retained by the design-build contractor to evaluate the overall delivery processes and the performance of the parties to assess delay and cost overruns. He prepared several deliverables utilized by the Dispute Review Board to equitably resolve disputes.  ​​
  • Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System – Camden to Trenton, New Jersey​
    • Mr. Ryals was retained by the design-build joint venture on a project consisting of thirty-five miles of a new light rail transportation system from Camden to Trenton, New Jersey. The new system included rail, vehicles, stations, train control, and traffic control systems constructed within an existing freight corridor utilizing both dedicated rail and shared rail. Mr. Ryals worked on-site, during construction, assisting with detailed planning and schedule development.  Subsequently, he performed a comprehensive schedule analysis and prepared an expert report quantifying impacts and delays resulting from site access, design changes, traffic and train signal design delays, and a variety of other issues. He participated extensively in the negotiations on these matters, which were successfully resolved prior to trial.
  • Tampa Airport Expansion and Redevelopment – Tampa, Florida​
    • The $122 million, design-build project involved final design and construction of the transfer level expansion and redevelopment of the Main Terminal and Airsides A, C, E and F.  The 50,000-SF transfer level expansion includes additions to the east and west plaza decks of the Main Terminal building; the relocation of the shuttle car lobbies for Airsides A, C, E and F; and the removal of the former Airside D shuttle lobby.  The redevelopment program also included 200,000-SF of renovations to the Main Terminal and all four Airside buildings.  Mr. Ryals was retained by the design-build contractor to evaluate the project schedules and delays that occurred during the expansion of an operating airport spanning over three years. Issues included the impact of revised shuttle and escalator operation times required by the Airport to manage increased traffic.  Unforeseen conditions and multiple design changes, arising during the renovation, contributed to the delay. Mr. Ryals prepared a detailed delay analysis and quantified damages as part of a REA submitted by the client. Mr. Ryals’ subsequent participation in mediation was instrumental in achieving a favorable settlement with the Airport Authority.

 

Institutional / Government

  • Chemical Demilitarization Facility – Anniston, Alabama​
    • Mr. Ryals provided advisory services, as well as dispute services, on a project consisting of design and construction of an automated facility to dismantle and incinerate live munitions armed with chemical agents. The high-security plant included reactor-style blast containment structures, extensive stainless steel piping with rigorous quality control and testing requirements, as well as state of the art safety and control systems. The initial role included participation in on-site “tiger team” working groups to evaluate and revise the overall program schedule in light of delays and productivity issues experienced during the initial phases of construction. Subsequently, Mr. Ryals performed an in-depth schedule and productivity analysis identifying critical delay issues including design changes, labor availability and inefficiency. He provided findings and opinions in formal negotiation proceedings with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to settle the matter prior to litigation.​
  • Criminal Investigation Division Laboratory – Ft. Gillem, Georgia ​
    • Mr. Ryals provided planning and scheduling advice to a U.S. contractor relative to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contract. The project involved the construction and commissioning of a new criminal investigation and forensic laboratory. The role included provision of planning and scheduling services during construction, as well as a detailed forensic schedule analysis and development of an expert report in preparation for trial. Issues addressed included design changes relative to lab area ductwork and pressurization, equipment procurement issues, commissioning delays, and their effect on program completion.  The matter was successfully settled in mediation prior to trial.​
  • Telecommunications Center –Baghdad, Iraq ​
    • Counsel for a Belgian defense contractor retained Mr. Ryals to provided project management and scheduling advice to a relative to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contract in Iraq. The program involved the re-construction of a telecommunication center for the Iraqi Ministry of Communication, the procurement and installation of critical equipment, and integration with local telecommunication systems. The role included a detailed schedule delay analysis and the development of an expert report in preparation for trial. Issues addressed included procurement delays, security issues, contractor performance issues and their effect on program completion. Mr. Ryals participated in negotiations with the USACE and the matter was successfully settled in negotiations prior to trial.
  • U.S. Courthouse Renovation – San Francisco, California​
    • Mr. Ryals represented a group of six sub-contractors in a dispute with the general contractor. Following an in-depth schedule analysis, he quantified critical delays and other damages associated with each individual sub-contract. Issues included the adequacy of the general contractor’s scheduling, coordination, and on-site supervision. Mr. Ryals presented his findings during mediation that ultimately resulted in the settlement of all claims.

 

Manufacturing

  • Boeing C-17 Globemaster Lot 26 – Long Beach, California ​
    • Mr. Ryals was retained by a major international aircraft manufacturing company relative to delays and disruption experienced on a U.S. Air Force supply contract.  A detailed delay and disruption analysis was prepared, followed by the development of an expert report. Causal factors included late delivery by primary suppliers and internal impacts resulting from plant closure activity.  Mr. Ryals’ analysis and expert report included an apportionment of damages between the responsible parties based on allocation of delay supported by discrete measured mile studies for each of the manufacturing positions for each aircraft.  The matter was successfully settled prior to litigation.

 

Mixed-Use

  • Emory Point – Phase II – Atlanta, Georgia​
    • The $47,672,859 GMP Contract included 307 residential units over a retail podium, parking garage, and amenities. Mr. Ryals was retained by counsel for the general contractor to assist with the resolution of a dispute with the primary trade contractor concerning project delays and liquidated damages.  Issues included defective work associated with balconies and windows that required remediation.  Mr. Ryals prepared an expert report and presented his findings at mediation.  The matter was settled following mediation.

 

Multi-Family / Residential

  • Deerwood Lakes Lofts – Jacksonville, Florida ​
    • The Project consists of 130 apartment units on an infill site adjacent to Deerwood Lake.  The four-story development includes a five-story parking garage.  The Project began in January 2013 and was planned to complete in 14 months in March 2014.  However, the Project was not completed until mid- 2016, over two years later than planned.  Mr. Ryals was retained by the contractor to assist with a dispute with the Owner arising out of the significant delay.  Owner late payment during construction and multiple design changes contributed to the delay.  Design errors and omissions, including FHA and ADA compliance issues, led to changes and rework that also delayed the Project.  Mr. Ryals prepared reports and presented findings at separate successful mediations with the Owner and with the designer.​
  • Marketplace Residences 909 Flats – Nashville, Tennessee​
    • The project involved the construction of a five story apartment building, an attached precast parking structure, related amenities, and other improvements. The Project site was confined, with limited access and very limited area for construction materials storage and staging.  On behalf of the Owner, Mr. Ryals performed a detailed schedule analysis to determine the causes of the nearly two-year delay that occurred during construction. Major issues included unforeseen groundwater conditions that delayed the excavation and foundation work for three months. Contractor productivity and performance were impacted as a result of the very active construction market in the Nashville area during 2015 and 2016.  Mr. Ryals prepared an expert report and provided support for successful settlement discussions.
  • St. Regis Condominium and Hotel – Atlanta, Georgia ​
    • An international general contractor retained Mr. Ryals to perform an analysis relative to delays and damages associated with the 24-story structure consisting of 151 hotel guestrooms and 53 luxury residences.  The dispute with the concrete subcontractor involved structural changes, submittal review delays, and productivity issues.  Mr. Ryals prepared an expert report and provided a deposition prior to a successful settlement for the client.​
  • The Renaissance at Dadeland– Miami, Florida​
    • The project consists of two low-rise towers featuring 431 residential units, 2000 square feet of retail space, a six-story parking garage.   On behalf of the local general contractor, Mr. Ryals provided schedule and cost analyses relative to piling layout errors and remediation efforts associated with a high-rise apartment project in south Florida.  The matter was successfully settled following Mr. Ryals’ expert report and deposition.​
  • YOO on the Park – Atlanta, Georgia​
    • The YOO on the Park Apartments project included the construction of a 24 story residential apartment tower, with 245 units over a concrete parking garage podium, including retail and amenities.  Mr. Ryals was retained by the general contractor to determine the causes of the delay and allocate responsibility between the parties relative to liquidated damages and entitlement to delay damages.  Issues included delayed Owner-furnished cabinets and unanticipated weather.  Mr. Ryals reviewed the Project records and performed a schedule delay analysis to identify the Project critical path, quantify critical path delays and determine the cause(s) of each critical path delay.  Mr. Ryals prepared an expert report setting forth findings, provided a deposition, and offered expert testimony during AAA arbitration hearings.

 

Oil & Gas

  • Firebag III - SAGD Project - Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada ​
    • A Canadian energy company retained Mr. Ryals to review its existing practices and procedures relative to project management and project controls for major projects. Specifically, the client desired to utilize fixed price contracting and requested an independent readiness review of existing processes and procedures. Mr. Ryals evaluated the current procedures for estimating, change control, sub-contract management, scheduling, and other processes. He recommended modifications and assisted with the implementation and training of the revised procedures.

 

Power & Energy

  • Hummel Power Station – Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania ​
    • The Hummel Station Power Plant is a 1,124 MW natural gas fired, combined-cycle power plant in Pennsylvania. The plant replaced the 400 MW Sunbury coal fired plant that was decommissioned in 2014 due to low natural gas price and the introduction of environmental regulations set forth by the U.S. government.  Mr. Ryals was retained by the general contractor to provide assistance with the resolution of a dispute with the Owner arising out of force majeure impacts to the delivery of major equipment including gas turbines and generators.  Unanticipated bridge construction and road closures delayed the heavy haul contractor and the delivery of the critical equipment.  The primary issue was concurrent delay relative to foundations and the determination of the critical path.  Mr. Ryals participated in two facilitated settlement meetings including stakeholders and schedule consultants.  The matter was resolved following the second meeting.
  • Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System​
    • Mr. Ryals was retained by the EPC contractor to provide schedule delay, disruption, and labor productivity analysis services on one of the world’s largest solar thermal power projects. The project is in southern California’s Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, about 48 miles southwest of Las Vegas. The project includes three concentrating solar thermal power plants of 126 MW for Unit 1 and 133 MW each for Units 2 and 3.  The technology is based on a Brightsource power tower and heliostat mirror technology, in which 173,000 heliostat (mirror) fields focus solar energy on three solar receiver steam generators located at the top of 360-foot towers at the center of each heliostat array to produce high-temperature steam.  The steam is piped to a Rankine cycle reheat steam turbine generator ("STG") located adjacent to each power tower to produce power. The central issues concerned the quantification of delays during construction and start-up of the plants and the proper allocation of responsibility between parties. Key issues involved late delivery of Owner supplied equipment, solar performance shortfalls and operational changes that extended completion of commissioning. A settlement was reached between the parties before a formal dispute resolution process.​​
  • Maine Independence Station - Veazie, Maine​
    • Mr. Ryals provided expert testimony on behalf of the mechanical contractor in an arbitration proceeding relative to the construction of a new 520MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant. Issues addressed at the hearing included critical path schedule analysis to determine factors giving rise to delay, causes of delay including resource and productivity analyses, and linkage of delay (critical and non-critical) to discrete cost variances. Mr. Ryals prepared a detailed expert report setting forth his findings and opinions, provided deposition testimony, and offered expert testimony as part of the arbitration proceedings.​
  • Plant Yates Coal to Gas Conversion – Newnan, Georgia​
    • The project included the conversion of two coal-fired units at Georgia Power’s Plant Yates to gas-fired units. Mr. Ryals was retained by the mechanical contractor to analyze the impact of late and incomplete design on the contractor’s performance.  The analysis included quantification of craft labor inefficiencies and a detailed allocation of responsibility for schedule delays and cost increases. Along with the contractor’s counsel, Mr. Ryals presented a summary of findings during a facilitated negotiation with Georgia Power and the matter was settled prior to litigation.​

IT / Technology

  • 911 Emergency System Upgrade – Sacramento, California ​
    • Mr. Ryals offered expert opinion in Superior Court on behalf of the State of California. The project involved the upgrade of emergency system hardware and software and integration with other statewide and national emergency systems. The role included the submission of an Expert Report, provision of deposition and testimony at trial. Issues addressed included adequacy of contactor’s planning and project management, quantification of software development delays and resource productivity loses and the identification of other factors giving rise to delay and their effect on program completion. The State of California received a favorable verdict at trial.
  • Communication Data Link – San Diego, California​
    • In preparation for an ASBCA hearing, Mr. Ryals was retained by a U.S. defense contractor relative to a contract with The Department of the Navy at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The program involved software and hardware development, testing and integration with U.S. military assets. The role included participation in negotiations with the U.S. Navy. Issues addressed included identification of engineering labor inefficiency caused by government actions and other factors giving rise to delay and their effect on program completion. Mr. Ryals’ report and oral presentation was instrumental in a favorable settlement.​​
  • Nodal Electricity Market Implementation Project – Austin, Texas​
    • Mr. Ryals was part of an interdisciplinary team retained by the Texas Public Utility Commission to conduct an independent evaluation and assessment of the underlying causes of the delayed launch and significant cost overruns associated with the design, development, and implementation of a new wholesale electricity market system in Texas. The new system ultimately cost over $500 million and involved significant changes to over a dozen software and control systems. Mr. Ryals performed detailed analyses of the design and development of each major system, identified and quantified critical path delays relative to each system, and quantified the financial impacts to the overall program. Further analysis was performed to determine the causes of the critical delays such as untimely design changes, vendor performance relative to software development and testing, and program management deficiencies.​​
  • Statewide IT Outsourcing Program – Richmond, Virginia ​
    • Relative to a $2.3B IT outsourcing project, Mr. Ryals performed a detailed schedule delay and impact analysis on behalf of the prime contractor. The project involved the development of a statewide network infrastructure and the outsourcing of all aspects of Information Technology for every state agency. The role included the preparation of a detailed settlement document and provision of planning and scheduling advice. Issues addressed included adequacy of contactor’s planning and project management, the identification and quantification of discrete issues impacting resource productivity and delaying program completion. The impact and delay analysis were integrated with the quantum expert’s cost analysis to develop a $700M REA that was ultimately resolved through negotiations.

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