Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

Philip Haberman
Office:
City Tower
40 Basinghall Street
EC2V 5DE
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 3096 6543

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Philip Haberman is the founder and senior partner of Haberman Ilett, having previously spent 22 years as a partner at Big Four accounting firms.  His first experience as an expert witness was in 1991 and, since then, he has worked on more than 300 matters, giving oral evidence more than 60 times, in Courts and under all the major arbitration institutions and rules. He has a degree in mathematics from Cambridge, and is a chartered accountant and experienced valuer.

Describe your career to date.

Varied.  I spent my early career in an eclectic mix of audit and advisory work, for clients of all shapes and sizes. In 1989 I was offered the opportunity to set up a forensic accounting department at my then firm. The nature of the work, with its focus on understanding complex financial issues and explaining them to non-financial people, suited me perfectly.

What was the most challenging aspect of opening a new firm?

As an optimist, I found the start-up phase exciting – a real adventure – rather than challenging. Had I not been surrounded by a core team that I trusted implicitly, it would have been a much harder and slower journey.

What are the main qualities that the firm possesses that sets you apart from other outfits in the UK market offering similar services?

We are focused on delivering quality, in our advice and our reports. What makes us different is the way we achieve that, which is based on teamwork among all our people. We have sought to create a firm that avoids internal competition, encourages people to exchange thoughts freely, and allows everyone to share in the rewards.

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

Every case is an opportunity to learn something – from your colleagues, counsel, the client, the tribunal and the other side. Use that knowledge to help you build your confidence, and develop your own personal style. And, sometimes, just say “no”.

You possess great experience in arbitration, litigation and mediation proceedings. Why do you think arbitration has become such a popular form of dispute resolution?

I think parties are seeking three things: neutrality (avoiding one party’s local courts), privacy (so there is less embarrassment in pursuing riskier proceedings) and enforceability (without that, the process is a waste of time and money). Most important is neutrality: it is critical to maintain trust in the international systems and processes of arbitration.

Since you began participating in arbitration proceedings, how would you say the role of the expert witness has developed?

First, the use of experts has expanded – sometimes as a means of presenting what might otherwise be a difficult aspect of a case. Second, despite a lack of institutional rules, the English approach (where experts formally acknowledge their obligation to the tribunal) seems to have become the template, so experts are expected to explain why their views differ from the opposition.

Looking back over your career, what has made you proudest?

For a long time, it was providing the expert evidence that resulted in a change in the law (in relation to the discount rate used for personal injury damages). But now, I’m most proud of the firm we have created.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

Philip Haberman is senior partner at Haberman Ilett LLP. He has specialised in forensic accounting since 1990, spending 22 years as a partner in Big Four firms, before setting up Haberman Ilett LLP in September 2013. For the past two years, he has been Who’s Who Legal’s Expert Witness of the Year.

Philip has been actively involved in some 300 matters including commercial disputes, shareholder disputes, investment treaty claims, transaction-related disputes, and disputes arising out of accounting and financial irregularities. He has given oral evidence on more than 60 occasions, before international arbitration tribunals under LCIA, ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, Swiss, SIAC and ad hoc rules, as well as UK courts. He has also carried out many expert determinations to resolve disputes.

Clients and counsel have described him as “an absolute pleasure to work with”, adding that he “couldn't have had a better team”.

He has a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1980. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a founder member of the Expert Witness Institute, a professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a CEDR-accredited mediator. He is also a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

WWL says: Philip Haberman is considered one of the leading figures in the research worldwide. "No lawyer wants to have to cross-examine Phil,” says one source. “He is so level-headed and calm and exudes absolute credibility."

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

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

Philip Haberman is the founder and senior partner of Haberman Ilett LLP, the leading independent firm specialising in providing accounting and financial expert evidence in international arbitration and litigation. For the past two years, he has been Who’s Who Legal’s Expert Witness of the Year.

He has been actively involved in some 300 matters including commercial disputes, shareholder disputes, investment treaty claims, transaction-related disputes, and disputes arising out of accounting and financial irregularities. He has given oral evidence on more than 60 occasions, before international arbitration tribunals under LCIA, ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, Swiss, SIAC and ad hoc rules, as well as UK courts. He has also carried out many expert determinations to resolve disputes.

Clients and counsel have described him as “an absolute pleasure to work with”, adding that he “couldn't have had a better team”.

Philip has a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1980. He specialised in forensic accounting from 1990, spending 22 years as a partner in Big Four firms before setting up Haberman Ilett in 2013.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a founder member of the Expert Witness Institute, a professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a CEDR-accredited mediator. He is also a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

WWL says: Haberman is “a class act” and “one of the very best in the business”.

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

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