Kelly Paine in Tokyo

Day in the life - Kelly Paine

What's it like working for Systech?

Kelly Paine, one of our Associate Directors based out of Sydney, is the focus of our latest day in the life piece.

Kelly joined Systech 5 years ago and has worked with us on major projects in Dubai, Doha, Johannesburg, Yokohama, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Kelly is a Construction Planner by discipline, working in claims and disputes carrying out forensic planning and delay and disruption analysis. She currently works internationally, on large infrastructure and engineering projects.

What is your typical day?

A typical day could see me in the middle of carrying out a delay or disruption analysis, analysing programmes, advising and assisting lawyers or quantum, responding to questions arising in any dispute, and either presenting results to clients or supporting the lawyers in official proceedings.

What are the challenges?

A good challenge in a forensic planning role, with any complex construction project and detailed analysis is assisting the non-planning or construction disciplines in understanding the findings.

However, working with Systech they have many experienced staff in various disciplines who are very experienced in dealing with different Technical Experts.

What are the interesting aspects of your work?

I can be working on a number of different projects and disputes each day as required and depending on the stage the claim is at. Each one could be in a different country and a completely different type of project, Power Station, Rail, Airport, Mining etc, so this keeps my day to days interesting. It also means I have an opportunity to visit different locations and project sites when required.

I have had the opportunity of working in a number of cities around the world including Dubai, Doha, Johannesburg, Yokohama, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Sydney.

I enjoy being flexible, adapting to change and the experience of working in a new environment with new people around the world. It’s a very multi-cultural and diverse environment to work in.

What words of advice would you offer someone thinking of working for Systech?

My advice for anyone that would like to work internationally, gain a lot of experience in a short amount of time, and have the opportunity to lead on major projects and claims would be to seriously consider joining Systech.

As a person, you will need to be flexible, and ready to hit any challenge hard, but with that you will be rewarded with some amazing experiences.


"As a person, you will need to be flexible, and ready to hit any challenge hard, but with that you will be rewarded with some amazing experiences."

What training and support has Systech given you?

Having started with Systech in 2015, the tremendous support and opportunities given to myself by the different country directors I have worked with over the time, has been key to my development and experience.

The experience of working on major Engineering projects, and with different major Contractors has meant I have gained knowledge in understanding the complex sequences required for these projects.

The experience of working on claims, from submissions and pleadings to preparing for a hearing, has been invaluable in working with the legal teams and being able to give the technical advice required.

What is the culture like?

The culture is very team orientated, and everyone gets involved with all aspects of a claim, irrespective of your discipline. Ideas and opinions are heard by all, meaning that you gain lots of experience from working with various people in the team.

Everyone at Systech is also given opportunities to excel in, no matter your level or experience with the company. You are given the opportunity and responsibility to manage your own work, and client relationships, meaning there is plenty of room for you to grow quickly in the company and show what you can do.

How has working for Systech helped you achieve your career goals?

Working as a female in construction, was initially challenging early on in my career. However, I knew while studying at university I wanted to work abroad and eventually develop from Construction Tender/Site Planning in to Forensic Planning and Expert work.

Systech has helped achieve my goals in working in claims and forensic planning and assisted in my career going from strength to strength, whilst working around the world.

What makes working for Systech different from the competition?

Systech has so many experienced staff in various disciplines including Systech Solicitors, in many different countries. Meaning no matter where in the world the project is, Systech can offer multi-disciplinary assistance straight away, and there will always be someone who has had experience in that particular country, legal jurisdiction, or construction method etc.

What has been your greatest achievement working for Systech?

A great achievement has been having repeat clients, come back for more assistance, advice and work. Showing that a great job has been done previously, helping the client reach their objectives.

Tell us about a project where you have learnt a key lesson?

An important lesson that can be learnt is having a detailed record of the development of a Baseline Programme, from Tender Stage, to Contract Stage and Monthly Progress updates.

The original intentions, assumptions, resources, quantities, productivity, sequencing, contingency allowances, etc is very important in planning and in a claim. To help in understanding if the original plan was suffice, and how it has been developed and changed over time, and what acceleration or mitigation has taken place. All things that can impact the outcome of a potential analysis. This information can sometimes be lost with a change of Planner, or through many subsequent programme iterations and updates.

The other most important aspect to consider in any analysis is the importance of As-built information, and contemporaneous records to back up any results, with a common sense approach. Not just taking any analysis completed by fact, a forensic investigation in to the detail and reliability is required.

The presentation of a claim, the results, the argument, Entitlement and the request are also central to a successful outcome.