About The Ward Group
The Ward Group was founded in January 2012 by Doug R. Ward and Chantell J. Cornett. Leaving a large national firm to cultivate a locally owned and operated operation allows us to prioritize our practice to provide client-tailored services with cost-effective investigation and analysis, collaborative problem solving and innovative results-driven services. We are proud of our local roots, and excited to both live and work in the valley. We are happy to mold our services to accommodate our clients’ specific needs.
Our team brings 30 years of construction experience; building commercial, residential, industrial, multi-family, mixed-used, and governmental projects; and over 15 years of claims experience; handling premise and product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, OSHA and ADA compliance, first-party insurance, Registrar of Contractor, standard of care, contract disputes, and delay claims.
The breadth of our experience spans over 20 independent contractors who offer their expertise in a vast array of disciplines, including:
|General Contractor||Architecture||Engineering||Electrical||Plumbing / HVAC|
|Roofing||Waterproofing||Building Envelope||Construction Management||Cost Estimating|
In lieu of retaining multiple experts on one claim, our team-based approach employs a round-table model; providing an analytical review of the fact-pattern surrounding the claim from a variety of multi-disciplinary perspectives... at the cost of the solely-retained construction professional.
A diverse client-base underpins our dynamic services, reinforcing our desire to remain an industry leader; embracing groundbreaking technology and state of the art equipment and pioneering education efforts for the newest construction trends. Guiding us along the way are our clients:
|Claims Professionals||Attorneys||Developers||Builders||Prospective Owners|
|Insurance Companies||Investors||General Contractors||Subcontractors||Design Professionals|
Licensed in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and with licenses pending in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and California; The Ward Group is prepared to join your team to assist in your construction consulting needs.
Doug Ward (Principal Expert / President)
Doug maintains active General Contractor commercial and residential licenses in the States of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico (pending). Doug built over 1,000 projects in Arizona, California, and Texas between 1972-2008, lending to his “hands-on” approach and first-hand knowledge of construction standard of care from a practical standpoint.. From industrial to custom luxury homes, medical facilities to commercial chains like Pizza Hut, it is hard to drive the valley and not pass some type of structure Doug has built. Doug’s experience as a builder and eventual owner of his own company, d.r. Ward Construction, led to his involvement with construction consulting and his eventual full-time work as a forensic construction consultant. Doug has been representing clients in construction defect litigation; conducting investigations, reporting findings and offering testimony in code compliance, standard of care and many other construction-related capacities since 1997.
Locally educated, Doug graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Construction Engineering in 1972. Straight from college Doug went on to partner with owner/operator Philip W. Morris and the same-named company where he managed more than $50 million in construction each year. After Mr. Morris elected to change career directions, Doug took sole ownership of the company and changed its name to the d.r. Ward Construction company, where he continued to build and develop properties all over the Valley until 1997 when he had his first taste of construction defect litigation. As the construction economy slowed, and the demand for construction consultants increased, Doug found himself winding down his active construction projects and increasing his involvement in forensic construction matters. In December 2008, Doug committed himself to the consulting world full-time, working at first for a California-based national company, but eventually opening the doors with his partner, Chantell J. Cornett, to his own company, and in January 2012, The Ward Group was formed.
With almost 40 years of experience in the valley with local projects, builders, attorneys, and insurance companies; The Ward Group’s vision is to provide a la carte based consulting services where solutions are obtained through direct communication with builders, owners, insurers, and counsel to diagnose construction failures and provide practical, cost-conscious, repair protocols.
Doug’s passion about construction extends beyond dispute analysis, as he enjoys educating other industry professionals regarding the mistakes he has reviewed. Whether Doug is assisting in code revision, educating young lawyers about the fundamentals and failures of construction, or developing best practices with builders and developers, Doug’s commitment to construction is unmistakable.
Chantell Cornett (Principal / Vice President)
Chantell’s road to construction consulting took a more circuitous route. In 1997, while pursuing her undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Political Science from the University of Washington, Seattle, Chantell joined the firm of Hedeen & Caditz, providing General Counsel services to Contractors and Subcontractors for: preparation, review, and negotiation of contracts; bid disputes and protests, including bid shopping; construction disputes, including extra work claims, labor inefficiency claims and claims for default terminations and terminations for convenience, lien, bond and retainage claims, and providing dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation support.
In 2002, Chantell moved to Phoenix where she continued insurance defense work and in 2005, while simultaneously pursuing her graduate studies in Chemistry at Arizona State University in Tempe, Chantell entered the world of construction defect litigation where she met Doug Ward. Chantell was accepted to Medical School in 2007, but elected to defer her admission and continue her work in construction defect claims with Doug at their predecessor company. Inevitably, their partnership flourished and on January 4, 2012, electing to close the door to a career in medicine altogether, Chantell and Doug opened the doors to The Ward Group. Chantell brings over fifteen years of legal experience and dispute resolution, construction management and cost estimating degrees, and seven years of construction-apprentice tutelage under Doug to the Ward Group.
As Managing Partner for The Ward Group her primary role is behind the scenes, but Chantell’s passion for knowledge and learning lead her to many a field inspection, client meeting, and Trial. “I want us to always provide the highest level of professional service, producing work product that exceeds our client’s expectations. We strive to be proactive listeners and work cooperatively within the claim team to minimize client costs and exposure and maximize results.” We look forward to tailoring our services to your needs.
When Chantell is not working she enjoys riding and jumping horses, biking, boxing, golfing, yoga, fishing, skiing and anything that takes her outdoors - especially trips back home to Seattle.