Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012
Andrew Flower
Firm:
Office:
Athene Place
66 Shoe Lane
EC4A 3BQ
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 7007 5078

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Andrew is a chartered accountant who has spent the past 20 years focused on the provision of expert evidence in international arbitration. He has provided written evidence and testified before tribunals in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of various institutions and in many parts of the world.

He has been a partner at Deloitte since 2005, leading the firm’s global international arbitration practice from, at various times, offices in France, New York and London.

What motivated you to become a forensic accountant?

I rather fell into it through a hastily arranged secondment to the fledgling forensic group at Coopers & Lybrand and quickly became involved with the Heathrow Airport landing charges arbitration that then lasted a number of years, concluding with a hearing at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

What attracted you to disputes work in particular?

The intellectual challenge of dealing with complex issues in a contentious context and the opportunity to do this in an international cross-cultural context.

What is the most memorable dispute you’ve worked on?

Every dispute is different: that is part of the fun of it, and the challenge. Different clients, different places and different issues to be resolved. I do think giving evidence in the Peace Palace, 12 years after seeing my erstwhile boss give evidence in one of my first cases in the same hall, is a special memory.

What advice would you share with younger experts who hope to one day be in your position?

Get into an organisation that is a good fit for you. Identify a mentor who will support your development but challenge you to deliver. Push for the opportunity to testify.

What qualities do clients look for in an expert witness?      

Many factors play a role: integrity, rigour, experience and expertise, creativity, common sense and responsiveness all come to mind. However, crucially, clients also look to experts they can interact and empathise with. The human element should not be underestimated.

How does the firm distinguish itself from competition in the market?

Deloitte distinguishes itself by having a stable of pre-eminent experts in each of the principle centres of arbitration, while at the same time drawing on great sectorial subject matter expertise and an unparalleled geographic breadth.

As a global leader in Deloitte’s disputes and international arbitration team, how do you see the firm’s practice developing in the coming years?        

I think we will see a move “upstream” for the team with more emphasis on dispute advisory work prior to a formal dispute commencing. We will also see increasingly close cooperation globally within the organisation, along with ever-greater use of technology – both in document production-related issues and with the use of artificial intelligence in the conduct of disputes.

What would you say is the greatest challenge facing lawyers and expert witnesses active in arbitration in the UK?

International arbitration’s greatest challenge will be to hold on to its pre-eminence as the forum in which to resolve international disputes. There may seem to be few other options, but with time and costs ever increasing, and with “arbitral terrorism” increasingly commonplace, if dissatisfaction sets in we can be sure alternatives will develop.

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