Dispute Resolution SOCOTEC

James HIGHFILL

James HIGHFILL Managing Director

Dispute Resolution Expert

James HIGHFILL

ABOUT

Mr. Highfill has over 40 years of continuous construction industry experience, including forensic disputes/litigation support, trusted advisor oversight/risk management of active projects, and direct employment with major general contractors. ​

Mr. Highfill has been retained to provide consulting and testifying expert services for major construction projects, and possesses a deep understanding and full appreciation of the critical issues of effective communication, organization, and efficient data management in the management of large, complex schedules.​

Mr. Highfill’s responsibilities have encompassed a wide variety of construction management and claims analysis services including: ​

  • Project record evaluation and analysis,​
  • Evaluation of project delay and impact, analysis of resources and productivity,​
  • Quantification of damages, forward scheduling, cost and time evaluations, conceptual estimating, and extensive “hands on” CPM scheduling.

 

Phone +1 (678) 584 9940 

ABOUT

Mr. Highfill has over 40 years of continuous construction industry experience, including forensic disputes/litigation support, trusted advisor oversight/risk management of active projects, and direct employment with major general contractors. ​

Mr. Highfill has been retained to provide consulting and testifying expert services for major construction projects, and possesses a deep understanding and full appreciation of the critical issues of effective communication, organization, and efficient data management in the management of large, complex schedules.​

Mr. Highfill’s responsibilities have encompassed a wide variety of construction management and claims analysis services including: ​

  • Project record evaluation and analysis,​
  • Evaluation of project delay and impact, analysis of resources and productivity,​
  • Quantification of damages, forward scheduling, cost and time evaluations, conceptual estimating, and extensive “hands on” CPM scheduling.

 

Phone +1 (678) 584 9940 

Professional Experience & Qualifications

10+ Years with Firm | 40+ Years in Industry

SOCOTEC
2022 - Present | Managing Director

David Pattillo & Associates, LLC - A SOCOTEC Company
2010 – 2021 | Vice President

Navigant Consulting
2005 – 2010 | Associate Director

A.W. Hutchison & Associates, LLC
1993 – 2005

Guy F. Atkinson Company
1990 – 1993| 

Dillingham Corporation
1988 – 1990 

J. A. Jones / Metric Construction
1981 – 1988 

Bachelor of Science – Civil Engineering– North Carolina State University - 1981

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

  • College of Scheduling – Project Management Institute​

  • NC/SC Bar Association Annual Conference Charleston SC September 2011, 2013. ​
  • Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Conference Atlanta, GA - October 2009. ​
  • Mid-South Construction Law Conference University of Kentucky - September 2009 - Presentation “As Planned vs. As Built Schedule Analysis Methodology.”

Expert Accordion Background

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECTS

 

Educational

  • Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio​
    • Project involved a $20.9 million contract for construction of three buildings to be part of the Fisher College of Business. Numerous omissions, inaccuracies, and conflicts in the design documents resulted in numerous changes and significantly delayed the project. Mr. Highfill was retained by the contractor to perform a schedule delay analysis, prepare an expert report, and provide expert testimony. The case was ultimately heard in the Ohio Supreme Court. ​

Infrastructure

  • International Airport South Terminal Expansion Project – Miami, Florida​
    • The South Terminal Expansion Project consisted of two concourses, with a combined total of 26 gates. The addition is seven stories tall and has a total floor area of 1.3 million square feet. Mr. Highfill was retained by the structural steel fabricator/erector to analyze events affecting the steel fabrication and erection schedules, including the release of work areas, design related changes, and revisions to erection sequencing.​
  • Southern New Jersey Light Rail Project – Trenton to Camden, New Jersey​
    • This project involved a $615 million design, build, operate, and maintain contract for a 34-mile diesel light rail transit system extending from Trenton to Camden, New Jersey. The scope of work included approximately 34 route miles; 20 station stops; over 20 rail bridge/overpass structures (renovations, upgrades, replacements, and new bridges); over 50 grade crossings; an equipment, maintenance, and yard facility; and the supply of vehicles. Challenges included constructing the project within the Conrail right-of-way while accommodating existing freight traffic, as well as constructing the section of downtown Camden while maintaining and protecting street-level traffic As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was retained to provide planning and scheduling assistance to the contractor, including preparation of requests for time extensions for owner related design criteria revisions, and utility conflicts/relocation issues.​

 

Institutional / Government

  • Bachelor Officers Quarters Naval Air Station – Pensacola, Florida​
    • As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was retained by the contractor to perform a schedule delay analysis for the renovation of two low rise residence buildings for the U.S. Navy. The primary issues involved differing site conditions, design changes, and untimely decision making on the part of the Navy administrators. The matter was pursued through the contractual claims process, and following deposition and testimony before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the judges ruled in favor of the client.​
  • Chemical Weapons Demilitarization Facility – Anniston, Alabama​
    • Estimated at $260 million in construction cost, the project consisted of 8 major buildings and was designed to convey, dismantle and destroy an assortment of munitions. All buildings were designed with extensively reinforced blast walls, and require extensive robotic, electrical and computer controls. As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was part of a team charged with analyzing schedule recovery efforts required as a result of numerous design changes resulting from “lessons learned” in the design and construction of predecessor plants.
  • G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery, Range Complex at Camp Shelby – Hattiesburg, Mississippi​
    • Mr. Highfill was retained by the United States of America, acting through the Departments of the Army and Air Force, National Guard Bureau, Mississippi Army National Guard, U. S. Property and Fiscal Office for Mississippi in a contractual dispute regarding The Joint Forces Training Center Range Complex. He served as testifying expert for the Government in an ADR procedure patterned after ASBCA rules and presided over by an ASBCA judge who singled out Mr. Highfill as providing particularly compelling testimony. The lump sum grading contract involved issues regarding pre-solicitation quantity estimates, contractor quantity estimated, shrink/swell/loose quantities, soil borings, weather, productivity, equipment selection, erosion/silt management, and stockpiling/rehandling. His schedule and other analyses, as well as his expert testimony, were critical to the successful defense against the contractor claim of $14M, prompting judicial praise of his “outstanding” expert testimony.​

Manufacturing

  • ThyssenKrupp Steel Plant – Mobile, Alabama​
    • The $3.6 billion carbon steel facility includes a hot strip mill, cold rolling and hot-dip coating capacity for high-quality end products of flat carbon steel. The project also includes a 4 berth river terminal and storage yards to offload and handle raw steel slabs barged from Brazil. The facility will have an annual capacity of 4.3 million metric tons of end products at full production. The project also includes a stainless processing facility, and combined represents the largest private economic project in the United States. As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was assigned with providing his scheduling expertise to the owner client in developing and maintaining project schedules. He was also part of the owner claim management team charged with analyzing, defending, and resolving contractual disputes as they arose during the project. Mr. Highfill presented his analysis in mediation regarding dispute arising in the newly constructed River Terminal, which was settled favorably.​

Mixed-Use

  • Brickyard on Mill – Tempe, Arizona​
    • "The Brickyard" is downtown Tempe’s first vertical, as well as horizontal, mixed-use project. As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was retained by the architect to perform a schedule delay in response to a lawsuit filed by the project developer. Mr. Highfill provided an expert report and deposition testimony.​
  • Marina Inn at Grande Dunes – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina​
    • Project involved the construction of three mid-rise building resort facilities adjacent to the Intercoastal Waterway, including a marina. Configurations include hotel, condominium, and amenities buildings. As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was retained to analyze and defend a claim submitted by the general contractor. His work included a schedule delay analysis and evaluation of the performance of the general contractor. The matter was resolved favorably for the client at mediation.​
  • St. Regis Hotel and Residences – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida​
    • The St. Regis Hotel and Residences located on Fort Lauderdale's beach front is a 750,000 square foot project that includes a 166-room hotel resort, 34 hotel condominium units, penthouse condominium residences, and 25 private residence club suites all in a 25-story tiered tower. As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was part of a team charged with analyzing and defending a $30 million increased construction cost lawsuit filed by the developer against the operator. The assignment included, among other things, a schedule delay analysis, a design release/change analysis, and performance analysis of key subcontractors. The matter is currently awaiting legal ruling in the State of New York

 

Power / Energy

  • Bath County Pumped Storage Project - Virginia​
    • Mr. Highfill’s first assignment as a contractor was on the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant with a generation capacity of 2,772 megawatts. The station is located in the northern corner of Bath County, Virginia. The station consists of two reservoirs separated by about 1,260 feet (380 m) in elevation. It cost $1.6 billion, and was constructed with 2,100 megawatts (MW) capacity. It went into operation in 1985 and is still the largest-capacity pumped-storage power station in the world. As a contractor, Mr. Highfill was responsible for project controls including scheduling and field production monitoring for heavy excavation and grading required to construct the project’s two zone filled earth and rock dams. He was additionally charged with managing and coordinating critical subcontractors such as foundation grouting and geotechnical instrumentation​
  • RC Thomas Hydroelectric Plant​
    • In anticipation of claims from the EPC contractor related to site subsurface soil conditions, in 2015 the East Texas Electrical Cooperative and outside counsel retained DPA to provide project advisory and dispute resolution services. DPA assisted the client in reaching successful settlements through mediations in 2017 and again in 2021 relating to a variety of geotechnical, mechanical, civil, and river flooding issues.  Our work earned the following compliment from L.A. Williams, Director if Engineering for ETEC: ​
      • “I would like to take a minute of your time to express my appreciation for all the hard work Jim Highfill put in helping ETEC with the RC Thomas Hydroelectric Project.  His insight, project scheduling knowledge, succinct schedule analysis, and project management experience were an invaluable contribution to the completion of the RC Thomas Hydroelectric facility.  Please extend my sincere thanks to Jim, and to you and all the staff at David Pattillo & Associates.”​
  • The University of North Carolina Cogeneration Plant – Chapel Hill, North Carolina​
    • The UNC Chapel Hill cogeneration concept involves the simultaneous production of electricity with the production of steam for use on the University campus. Steam is passed through a turbine which drives a 28 megawatt generator and is extracted and used again for heating, cooling, and other purposes. As a contractor, Mr. Highfill headed up the scheduling team responsible for detailed planning and scheduling for construction of the plant, including design/build elements. He was also simultaneously charged with developing a detailed as built schedule related to a claim for delay and disruption during construction and plant start up, including participation in multiple mediation sessions.  ​

Water / Wastewater

  • Eastside Reservoir Project – Helmet, California​
    • The Eastside Reservoir is located near the city of Hemet in Riverside County, CA and is Southern California's largest water storage reservoir. It consists of three dams, a delivery pipeline, a pumping plant, recreational facilities and environmental reserves. The Eastside project is one of the largest earth/rock fill dam projects in U.S. history. This consulting assignment primarily focused upon analyzing and defending a $130 million contractor claim associated with the West Dam, 1.7 miles long and comprised of 60 million cubic yards of zone-filled earth and rock materials, associated foundation treatment, and required earth and rock excavation. Mr. Highfill performed a detailed schedule and production delay analysis, including detailed review of planned means and methods, and logistics. Mr. Highfill presented his analysis in an expansive mediation format, and the dispute was settled favorably for the client
  • TZ Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant - Greensboro, North Carolina​
    • As a consultant, Mr. Highfill was retained by the owner to evaluate performance of the contractor hired to perform renovation and new construction for upgrades at an existing wastewater treatment plant, who was ultimately terminated and replaced. His analysis included overall contractual scheduling requirements, general scheduling deficiencies by the contractor, evaluation of contractor monthly schedule updates, and a critical path schedule delay evaluation. He prepared expert reports, and provided expert deposition and hearing testimony. The initial legal ruling was in favor of the owner, was upheld upon appeal, and resulted in an award to the owner in excess of $16 million. This award stands as one of the largest construction awards in the state of North Carolina.

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