Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012
Luke Steadman
Office:
One Finsbury Circus
EC2M 7EB
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 7072 3286
Fax:
+44 20 7715 5201

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Investigations Forensic Accountants Experts

Luke Steadman has over 25 years’ experience in accounting. He provides expert evidence for international arbitration as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert; has acted on over 30 matters in the past five years; and has provided both solo and concurrent evidence in hearings. Expert evidence has included quantum, valuation, and accounting treatment of complex transactions under International, US and UK GAAP. He also receives instruction in High Court matters and has appeared as an expert in the first-tier tax tribunal.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO SPECIALISE IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTANCY?

I started in the early 1990s so this sort of work was called “audit special work” or even “litigation support”. Whatever it was called, I had been doing it for over a year before I even came across the term “forensic” when I joined what was then the first forensic accounting boutique firm in London. I had trained as an auditor and had sought out as much opportunity to do non-audit work as possible, as it just seemed more interesting. The move to a boutique firm meant that I was at the forefront of a developing area of both accounting and the law. I think forensic accounting suits someone who has a passion for accuracy and detail, but an open mind to what that accuracy and detail will reveal.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE INVESTIGATION YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH DURING YOUR 20-PLUS YEARS AS A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT?

While every matter and new instruction presents fresh challenges and new demands, the one that required all work to be carried out “in country” certainly sticks in my mind, especially as the country in question was the Bahamas. It was a thorough investigation. 

HOW HAS THE SCOPE OF YOUR PRACTICE EVOLVED OVER TIME?  

For me the biggest change has been the rise of the “Excel generation” among counsel and instructing solicitors. When I first started, all numbers in cases were seen as the preserve of the forensic accountants – which meant that we were often instructed earlier in the legal process than we are now. A benefit is that, when we are instructed, it is when the numbers get really hard.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES PRESENTED BY THE INCREASINGLY GLOBAL NATURE OF DISPUTES?

The increasingly global nature of the sort of disputes we work on mean that language skills and IT/data analytic skills are in high demand. We have recognised this within our hiring practices but still find it a challenge when we are instructed on matters touching on such diverse places as Mongolia, Afghanistan, Tanzania, the Congo, Myanmar and the Philippines.

TO WHAT EXTENT MIGHT RECENT POLITICAL CHANGES IMPACT LONDON’S STATUS AS A HUB FOR INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT? 

Regardless of Brexit’s impact on London generally, and the financial services sector in particular, the city remains, in my view, well placed as a centre of excellence for international dispute resolution. The wealth and volume of talent and experience among the legal (and accounting) professions here appears not yet to be matched by any comparable credible jurisdiction and I don’t see why this should change if London remains flexible. For instance, I am presently involved in matters in the Caribbean courts which are basically argued and run entirely from London.

AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ALVAREZ & MARSAL’S DISPUTES GROUP, HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THE PRACTICE IS WELL EQUIPPED TO MEET CURRENT CHALLENGES FACING THE PROFESSION?

Ensure we recruit, train, retain and promote the best talent in the industry. Make sure that the team is flexible and agile enough to take on new matters; value language skills and look for staff who work well as a team and nurture those who can lead and motivate teams. At A&M we have built our hiring and promoting strategies around this but it can still be a challenge to compete for the best staff.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION HAS RECEIVED CRITICISM FOR THE PERCEIVED LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN THE PAST. IN YOUR OPINION AS AN EXPERIENCED EXPERT WITNESS, WHAT CAN BE DONE TO OFFSET THESE CLAIMS? 

I am not sure that criticism can be levelled at arbitration generally and parties in my experience value the privacy afforded by settling disputes through arbitration. However, I have seen matters go badly off the rails when a tribunal fails to manage the parties or itself. I was a huge fan of the introduction of CPR 35 into High Court litigation and pleased when it became de-facto part of an arbitral tribunal’s approach to expert evidence. Concurrent evidence is to be welcomed, although the more structure that can be given to the form of questioning (and to ensure it addresses the issues the tribunal wants to establish) the more useful it is.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A SUCCESSFUL FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT?

I always meet with new forensic accounting trainees at our firm in the first week or so of their careers, and offer them three pieces of advice which have served me well over the last 20-plus years. First, start with the cross-examination and work backwards into the report. Focusing on the unique way in which our work is scrutinised and challenged allows a good forensic accountant to present that information in a clear, objective and unemotive way. Second, realise that what makes a good report good evidence is the ability to communicate often complex numbers, issues, events and transactions in a clear, precise and uncompromised manner. There is a clear difference between understanding and communicating, and only the latter is of use to clients. Third, an application of Occam’s Razor is often the most useful tool available to a forensic accountant: among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions is to be preferred.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal’s disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration. He has over 20 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant focusing on dispute resolution, expert testimony, investigations and disputes across Europe, Asia and the United States.

His experience of international arbitration covers ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICDR rules as well as ad hoc and specialist centres such as London Maritime, Dubai and Singapore. He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters over the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings in London, Warsaw and Dubai. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles.

As an expert in accounting and valuation, Mr Steadman also provides expert evidence in domestic courts and has appeared in the High Court on many occasions. He continues to receive instruction in High Court matters and has also appeared as an expert on accounting concepts and principles in the First-tier Tax Tribunal.

With over 20 years of experience Mr Steadman is also known for leading complex many-handed accounting investigations and asset recovery matters. He has led accounting investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the US he has considerable experience in dealing with US regulators and prosecutors following investigations of fraud and accounting irregularities at major US companies. In Asia, Mr Steadman acted as an expert in a high-profile failed investment scheme, while in the UK he has carried out a number of wide-ranging investigations of accounting irregularities on behalf of UK companies, insurers and investors.

In the public sector, Mr Steadman saw regular appointments by the secretary of state for trade and industry as an inspector in matters of insider dealing and in the conduct of statutory company investigations under UK legislation, as well as providing assistance on accounting, fraud and other issues to major regulators.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Mr Steadman was the head of the fraud and forensic accounting investigations team at a global consulting firm.

WWL says: Luke Steadman draws widespread international praise for his top-notch work in arbitration proceedings, where he is known for delivering “clear and convincing argumentation”. ​

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Experts

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal’s disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration. He has over 20 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant focusing on dispute resolution, expert testimony, investigations and disputes across Europe, Asia and the United States.

His experience of international arbitration covers ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICDR rules as well as ad hoc and specialist centres such as London Maritime, Dubai and Singapore. He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters over the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings in London, Warsaw and Dubai. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles.

As an expert in accounting and valuation, Mr Steadman also provides expert evidence in domestic courts and has appeared in the High Court on many occasions. He continues to receive instruction in High Court matters and has also appeared as an expert on accounting concepts and principles in the First-tier Tax Tribunal.

With over 20 years of experience, Mr Steadman is also known for leading complex many-handed accounting investigations and asset recovery matters. He has led accounting investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the US he has considerable experience in dealing with US regulators and prosecutors following investigations of fraud and accounting irregularities at major US companies. In Asia, Mr Steadman acted as an expert in a high-profile failed investment scheme, while in the UK he has carried out a number of wide-ranging investigations of accounting irregularities on behalf of UK companies, insurers and investors.

In the public sector, Mr Steadman saw regular appointments by the secretary of state for trade and industry as an inspector in matters of insider dealing and in the conduct of statutory company investigations under UK legislation, as well as providing assistance on accounting, fraud and other issues to major regulators.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Mr Steadman was the head of the fraud and forensic accounting investigations team at a global consulting firm.

WWL says: Lawyers and experts alike commend Luke Steadman for his depth of experience in asset recovery issues.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Forensics & Litigation Consulting - Accountants

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal's disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration. He has over 20 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant focusing on dispute resolution, expert testimony, investigations and disputes across Europe, Asia and the United States.

His experience of international arbitration covers ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICDR rules as well as ad hoc and specialist centres such as London Maritime, Dubai and Singapore. He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters over the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings in London, Warsaw and Dubai. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles.

As an expert in accounting and valuation, Mr Steadman also provides expert evidence in domestic courts and has appeared in the High Court on many occasions. He continues to receive instruction in High Court matters and has also appeared as an expert on accounting concepts and principles in the First-tier Tax Tribunal.

With over 20 years of experience Mr Steadman is also known for leading complex many-handed accounting investigations and asset recovery matters. He has led accounting investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the US he has considerable experience in dealing with US regulators and prosecutors following investigations of fraud and accounting irregularities at major US companies. In Asia, Mr Steadman acted as an expert in a high-profile failed investment scheme, while in the UK he has carried out a number of wide-ranging investigations of accounting irregularities on behalf of UK companies, insurers and investors.

In the public sector, Mr Steadman saw regular appointments by the secretary of state for trade and industry as an inspector in matters of insider dealing and in the conduct of statutory company investigations under UK legislation, as well as providing assistance on accounting, fraud and other issues to major regulators.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Mr Steadman was the head of the fraud and forensic accounting investigations team at a global consulting firm.

WWL says: Thought leader Luke Steadman enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market and is widely recognised as a leading forensic accounting expert.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Economic Consulting - Quantum of Damages

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal's disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration. He has over 20 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant focusing on dispute resolution, expert testimony, investigations and disputes across Europe, Asia and the United States.

His experience of international arbitration covers ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICDR rules as well as ad hoc and specialist centres such as London Maritime, Dubai and Singapore. He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters over the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings in London, Warsaw and Dubai. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles.

As an expert in accounting and valuation, Mr Steadman also provides expert evidence in domestic courts and has appeared in the High Court on many occasions. He continues to receive instruction in High Court matters and has also appeared as an expert on accounting concepts and principles in the First-tier Tax Tribunal.

With over 20 years of experience Mr Steadman is also known for leading complex many-handed accounting investigations and asset recovery matters. He has led accounting investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the US he has considerable experience in dealing with US regulators and prosecutors following investigations of fraud and accounting irregularities at major US companies. In Asia, Mr Steadman acted as an expert on a high-profile failed investment scheme, while in the UK he has carried out a number of wide-ranging investigations of accounting irregularities on behalf of UK companies, insurers and investors.

In the public sector, Mr Steadman saw regular appointments by the secretary of state for trade and industry as an inspector in matters of insider dealing and in the conduct of statutory company investigations under UK legislation, as well as providing assistance on accounting, fraud and other issues to major regulators.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Mr Steadman was the head of the fraud and forensic accounting investigations team at a global consulting firm.

WWL says: Luke Steadman is internationally recognised for his outstanding expertise in complex quantum issues.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Investigations: Forensic Accountants

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal’s disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration. He has over 20 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant focusing on dispute resolution, expert testimony, investigations and disputes across Europe, Asia and the United States.

His experience of international arbitration covers ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICDR rules as well as ad hoc and specialist centres such as London Maritime, Dubai and Singapore. He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters over the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings in London, Warsaw and Dubai. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles.

As an expert in accounting and valuation, Mr Steadman also provides expert evidence in domestic courts and has appeared in the High Court on many occasions. He continues to receive instruction in High Court matters and has also appeared as an expert on accounting concepts and principles in the First-tier Tax Tribunal.

With over 20 years of experience, Mr Steadman is also known for leading complex many-handed accounting investigations and asset recovery matters. He has led accounting investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the US he has considerable experience in dealing with US regulators and prosecutors following investigations of fraud and accounting irregularities at major US companies. In Asia, Mr Steadman acted as an expert in a high-profile failed investment scheme, while in the UK he has carried out a number of wide-ranging investigations of accounting irregularities on behalf of UK companies, insurers and investors.

In the public sector, Mr Steadman saw regular appointments by the secretary of state for trade and industry as an inspector in matters of insider dealing and in the conduct of statutory company investigations under UK legislation, as well as providing assistance on accounting, fraud and other issues to major regulators.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Mr Steadman was the head of the fraud and forensic accounting investigations team at a global consulting firm.

WWL says: Luke Steadman is considered one of the top forensic accountants in London thanks to his 20 years of experience in investigations across Europe, Asia and the US.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Investigations which can be purchased from our Shop.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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