J. Miguel Amaya
Managing Director

Construction Claims & Quantum Analysis; Capital Project Advisory

J. Miguel Amaya is a Managing Director at Ankura, based in the Los Angeles office. He brings construction expertise and business acumen to claims and project management, skills that he developed and honed over three decades working on highly complex and large capital projects throughout the Americas and in Saudi Arabia. Miguel has been involved with major infrastructure initiatives including bridges and roads, power plants and refineries, and mining operations, among other projects. He has represented contractors as well as clients in lump sum turnkey, unit rate, cost reimbursable and cost-plus contracts. His experience also encompasses procurement and risk management.

  • Experience

    Prior to joining Ankura, Miguel spent nearly two decades in managerial positions with Bechtel Corporation, the global engineering, construction, and project-management company. He was posted to Brazil, Panama, several US cities, and Santiago, Chile, where he served for six years as a project manager focused on mining. He was last based in Toronto, leading a team assessing and negotiating claims against the owner of a multi-billion subway extension project. In this role, Miguel also provided fact-finding support to the client’s in-house and outside counsel on two lawsuits in Canada. In addition, he prepared position reports and participated in deliberation sessions with a dispute resolutions board and a mediation.

    A civil engineer by training, Miguel began his career in his native Colombia and went on to work for the Italo-Argentine group Techint on such diverse projects as pipelines in Colombia, water systems in Saudi Arabia, and a refinery expansion in Brazil.

    Miguel’s professional experience includes:

    • Construction Claims and Quantum Analysis, Subway Extension Project: Led a combined team of claims analysts and two delay-expert consulting companies in the analysis and resolution of more than 650 claims against the project owner. Claimants sought additional compensation over diverse issues including owner-caused delays, defective designs and specifications, differing site conditions, interference, defaults, defective owner-supplied equipment, and mismanagement. Miguel guided the development of quantum evaluations to establish potential exposures and commercial scenarios that were documented in comprehensive reports then used to guide negotiations.
    • Feasibility Study, Copper Mine Capital Project: Managed the engineering, procurement, and construction teams looking at a crusher for a major copper mine and processing facility. Efforts included establishing execution, contracting, and permitting plans, project procedures, staffing requirements, and project strategies.
    • Cross-Project Analysis and Advisory, Mining Company: Assessed potential opportunities and identified ways to increase synergies and efficiencies of multiple mining and metals projects. Miguel presented and defended business cases, negotiated work-process updates to support implementation, and established metrics for measuring results.
    • Bid Proposal Preparation, Infrastructure Project: Established a subcontracting plan that incorporated key partners and tailored strategies to address cultural and regional needs and goals.
    • Insurance Program Management, Construction Contractor: Prepared and negotiated assertive claims as well as the analysis and defense of other parties’ claims. In coordination with private and state-insurance management, Miguel helped maximize reimbursements under the terms of retrospectively rated plans covering third-party liability and workers compensation.
    • Diversity Initiative, Contractor: Supported the client’s goals on project participation by minority- and women-owned business with a plan that fostered the use of the local business incubator. Ultimate participation was nearly four times greater than planned.
    • Subcontracting Review, Nuclear Power Plant: Assisted the contractor in assessing subcontracting process and procedures. Miguel recommended and implemented improvements in bidding practices, documentation, compliance, and governance.