Sharon McGahey

Partner, Blackrock Expert Services
Co-Head of the Singapore office of Blackrock Expert Services Group



What is your role at Blackrock Expert Services?

I am an independent expert witness on programming, delay and disruption matters. I provide expert opinion on the incidence, extent and causes of delay incurred on construction and engineering projects.

Over the last 19 years, I have worked on many high-value and technically complex projects including: power plants; road and rail infrastructure; mixed-use and commercial buildings. Although projects differ in size/scale and complexity, the delay analysis principles and methodology adopted is broadly the same. The provision of sound, practical and fact-based analysis in a clear and concise manner which will assist those seeking to resolve the dispute is paramount.

As co-head of Blackrock Expert Services’ Singapore office, what important developments are you seeing in the region?

Singapore has a global reputation as a centre for dispute resolution, especially for cases from India, the Philippines, China and the wider South East Asia region.

Singapore International Arbitration Centre has continued to operate throughout this pandemic by embracing the use of technology and facilitating virtual conferences and hearings. I believe that this growth in the use of technology is positive and is here to stay.

The vast majority of construction and engineering projects across the region have been impacted by the pandemic and we have seen a notable increase in enquiries for both our independent expert witness services and our live project advisory services. I expect that we will continue to see an increase in demand for independent expert witness services as disputes crystallise in the coming years.

What has been a career highlight for you?

I think there are probably two career highlights. Firstly, giving evidence on programming/delay in a very complex, large-scale project which was the subject of ICC Arbitration proceedings recently. Whilst the issues between the parties were extensive and complex in nature, we were able to approach the analysis in a practical manner which demonstrated thoroughness, independence and credibility. This was a great opportunity to work with experts of multiple disciplines, and I believe it assisted the Tribunal in understanding the issues in dispute and provided them with the information required to decide on the case. Secondly, getting the opportunity to lead the Blackrock programming/delay team in Singapore and delivering an excellent service to our growing client base in South East Asia.