Chantell J. Cornett

Chantell J. Cornett

Expert | Principal | Managing Partner | VP/CFO

Over the past ten years, Chantell’s dedication to the company as well as the construction and engineering forensics community has been invaluable and I am pleased to introduce Chantell as a named Principal partner at Ward Cornett & Associates.

Chantell Cornett has spent the last four years pursuing a Masters in Construction Engineering (M.S.E.) at the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU and will sit for the first of her Professional Engineer (P.E.) examinations in 2022. Ms. Cornett also teaches weekly as adjunct faculty in the engineering departments at both Arizona State University and the University of Washington.

Chantell has secured a KB-2 Dual General Contractor license, completed over 800 hours of OSHA and Job Site Safety Training and is certified as both an OSHA accident investigator and trainer. Chantell also holds certifications as a fire and explosion investigator (CFEI), and National Ready Mixed Concrete (NRMCA) concrete plant/truck inspector.

Chantell focuses her practice on disputes related to residential construction, OSHA and Job Site accidents, premise-liability construction code and standard of care compliance.

Chantell’s road to construction consulting and engineering 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 contract and dispute negotiation; bid protests; bid shopping; extra work clams, 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, Chantell entered the world of construction defect litigation where she eventually 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 twenty years of legal experience, claim evaluation, dispute resolution, construction management, construction job site safety, residential construction, and cost estimating. In 2016, Chantell decided to increase her expertise from cost estimating and exposure analysis to providing expert opinions in residential construction. As Managing Partner for The Ward Group, historically, Chantell’s primary role was behind the scenes. But Chantell’s passion for knowledge and learning lead her to many a field inspection, client meeting, deposition or trial. And now again Chantell returns to the classroom to follow in her mentor and business partner’s footsteps as a Principal Expert. In January 2017 Chantell completed programs for licensure as a State of Arizona Registered Contractor, Arizona Real Estate Agent and Certified Professional Estimator. Chantell is presently completing (Spring 2022) a Masters in Construction Engineering (M.S.E.) and endeavoring toward a Ph.D. in Engineering at Arizona State University in the Ira B. Fulton School of Engineering.

And when not providing consulting services or completing her engineering studies, Chantell completed over 800 hours of OSHA and associated job site accident training. Chantell is an OSHA Certified Safety & Health Official (CSHO) and Specialist in Safety and Health (SSH). Chantell is also an OSHA authorized trainer and certified job site inspector. Recently, Chantell added certification in fire and explosion investigation to her toolbox becoming a CFEI.

Chantell holds an Arizona KB-2 Dual General Contractor license and focuses her practice on residential claims as well as code, OSHA, and ADA compliance in premises liability and job site accidents.  

When Chantell is not working she enjoys travel (always with a cribbage board in hand), riding horses, surfing, triathlons, boxing, golfing, fishing, skiing, camping, and anything that takes her outdoors -- especially trips back home to the Pacific Northwest -- and never misses a college football game.  Go Dawgs!