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 Global Elite

Luke Steadman has over 25 years’ experience as a forensic accountant, providing expert evidence for international arbitration as party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert. He has acted on over 150 matters and has testified on more than 25 occasions. His expert evidence has included quantum, valuation and the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK GAAP. He also receives instructions in the High Court and as a GAAP expert in the first-tier tax tribunal.

Describe your career to date.

I started in the early 1990s doing what was then called “audit special work” or “litigation support” at a medium-sized London firm. In 1996, I joined what was then the first forensic accounting boutique firm in London and our work over the next 10 years saw us working on some of the largest and most complex disputes of the time. The move to a boutique firm meant that I was at the forefront of a developing area of both accounting and law which was fabulous. I spent some time at a US consulting firm that purchased our boutique and moved in 2010 to Alvarez & Marsal. Initially dividing my time between managing complex international investigations and London-based High Court work, my practice now is exclusively expert witness work, the majority of which is in international arbitration.

What do you enjoy most about working in the field of forensic accounting?

Forensic accounting suits someone who has a passion for accuracy and detail but an open mind as to what that accuracy and detail will reveal. Our work is part “journey” and part “translation” as ultimately what we find, however complex or esoteric, has to be communicated succinctly and clearly in legal proceedings for it to be of use. I also have to say I enjoy giving evidence and being challenged on my views by some of the best advocates and arbitrators.

On what types of matters do clients most frequently approach you at present?

My expert work focuses on the question of damages – whether those damages relate to the value of an entity or the profit under a contract, that is the specialism. I don’t believe I am known as an expert for a particular industry or sector as my practice is varied – I am perhaps what used to be called a “general commercial” expert. At Alvarez & Marsal we have several sector-specific experts in the energy and financial services disputes space, and I tend not to do those matters. Over my career, I have acted on matters ranging from nuclear reactors and ore mining to plastic-diesel pyrolysis operations, consumer retail, healthcare and hospitality cases. I enjoy the range of cases and industries.

How has the field of forensic accounting changed in recent years?

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, whereas now there is a shared experience of how damages and valuations work in practice. There are some signs that this is changing again – the volume of analytical and numerical data on cases is growing exponentially – meaning that forensic accounting is evolving to deal with this big-data world.

Are there any particular challenges presented by the increasingly global nature of disputes?

The global nature of disputes means that clients have access to a worldwide pool of expertise and we compete for work in a global market. Language skills and IT/data analytic skills are in high demand and we have recognised this within our hiring practices. London remains, and will continue to remain in my view, a centre of excellence for international dispute resolution; the wealth and talent of experience among the legal (and accounting) professions here has yet to be matched by any credible “emerging” jurisdictions.

Looking forward, what changes should clients and colleagues be most aware of?

Think globally. We are fortunate as forensic accountants to have pretty much a common rulebook across the world, which means that we can act on disputes in practically any jurisdiction. While a matter may be run from London, during its course we have to interface with a multitude of locations and languages and ensure that we have experienced staff available. We are seeing more and more disputes arising out of Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and Central Asia, requiring us to think about our office footprints.

What qualities make a successful expert?

I always meet with new forensic accountant trainees at our firm in the first week or so of their careers and offer them three pieces of advice that have served me well over the past 20-plus years in disputes. 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 us 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 complex issues in a clear, precise and uncompromised manner. There is a different skill to be mastered between understanding and communicating, and only the latter is useful to clients and tribunals. 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 often 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 and domestic litigation. He has over 25 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant across Europe, Asia and the United States.

He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters in the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings under ICC, LCIA, Hong Kong and Dubai Arbitration Rules. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles and the application of International Auditing Standards.

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.

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”. ‚Äč

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

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Investigations - Forensic Accountants

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal's disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration and domestic litigation. He has over 25 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant across Europe, Asia and the United States.

He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters in the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings under ICC, LCIA, Hong Kong and Dubai Arbitration Rules. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles and the application of International Auditing Standards.

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.

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 a renowned expert witness and stands out for his experience advising and testifying in disputes around the world.

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: Experts - Financial Advisory and Valuation - Quantum of Damages

Luke Steadman is a partner in Alvarez & Marsal's disputes and investigations practice, specialising in expert accounting evidence for international arbitration and domestic litigation. He has over 25 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant across Europe, Asia and the United States.

He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters in the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings under ICC, LCIA, Hong Kong and Dubai Arbitration Rules. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles and the application of International Auditing Standards.

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.

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 wins high praise from peers and clients alike who commend his extensive experience dealing with quantum matters in international arbitration proceedings.

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 and domestic litigation. He has over 25 years of professional accounting experience as a forensic accountant across Europe, Asia and the United States.

He has acted as both party-appointed and tribunal-appointed expert on over 30 matters in the past five years and has provided both solo and concurrent oral evidence in hearings under ICC, LCIA, Hong Kong and Dubai Arbitration Rules. Written and oral evidence has included considerations of quantum, valuation, the accounting treatment of complex transactions under international, US and UK Accounting Standards and Principles and the application of International Auditing Standards.

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.

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: The "exceptional" Luke Steadman has "an excellent reputation in the market" and receives plaudits for the skilful way he leads fraud and forensic accounting investigations.

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

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