Derek Patterson
Office:
Audrey House
16-20 Ely Place
EC1N 6SN
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 (0)20 7269 7836

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Derek has in-depth experience in structuring and delivering forensic accounting and electronic data services across multi-jurisdiction investigations, assessing and testing compliance programmes, and in supporting complex dispute resolutions. Most recently, Derek supported Telia Company respond to bribery allegations arising from its Uzbekistan business, and with disgorgement and pecuniary gain analysis in its US$965 million FCPA settlement. Derek is presently co-leading FRA’s compliance programme, testing an international corporation as part of the independent compliance monitor team appointed under a DPA.

What motivated you to specialise in forensic accounting?

I was lucky enough to have enjoyed senior roles in finance in major international businesses (Ford Motor Company, British Airways) as well as entrepreneurial growth companies (Go Fly, easyJet). I was introduced to the founders of FRA by a mutual friend and realised that here was a great opportunity to use the skills gained in the commercial world to advise and guide clients. My first project was a multi-jurisdictional fraud, regulatory response and litigation case, which I enjoyed immensely, and I have been busy ever since on a wide variety of white-collar crime, and litigation or arbitration support matters.

Since starting your career, how would you say the role of the forensic accountant has developed?

Projects now require the forensic accountant to be able to intelligently advise clients on a wider range of challenges. Most large white-collar projects now combine forensic accounting requirements, structured and unstructured data challenges, and project management needs. One of our beauties is that we offer all of those skills to clients in one flexible package, which is enormously helpful to internal and external counsel. Every project presents different challenges and we are able to listen and offer tailored, pragmatic solutions. Experience of the day-to-day challenges faced in international businesses is really useful in this regard. Clients greatly prefer this to having a “product” forced upon them.

What are the biggest challenges currently facing forensic accountants in the investigations space?

Data, data and data. And proportionality. The need to collect, efficiently process and then query huge volumes of transaction and unstructured data in international investigations is vital. Solutions that are both technically robust and proportionate, and which enable forensic accountants and counsel to conduct substantive review together efficiently, are increasingly required. Technology-assisted review is the pragmatic way forward, something that courts and regulators are beginning to accept. These challenges add project management, interaction with techy folks, and client interface skills to the traditional requirements of forensic accountants.

As head of FRA’s Nordic business, what market growth opportunities do you foresee in the next few years?

The multi-jurisdictional FCPA settlement entered into by Telia Company was a vivid call to Nordic businesses of the potential pitfalls of international business expansion. In addition, Nordic shareholders are increasingly focused on corporate ethics (see Norway’s sovereign wealth fund recent announcement as an example). There is an awakening in the Nordic markets of the benefits for management and shareholders of acting to be sure that their businesses are ethically sound whether acting at home or abroad – it’s not enough to trust that all will be well.

Which industry sectors are the busiest in your practice at the moment? Why do you think this is?

Sectors include EPC, manufacturing, and telecoms, as well as life sciences and financial services. Factors include big-ticket transaction values and high levels of regulation.

Looking back over your career, what has been your proudest achievement to date?

Serendipity has brought some highlights. Being part of the management team that started an airline from scratch and sold it for remarkable investment gain, and financing the largest ever order of narrow-body aircraft were both achievements of which I am very proud. However, number one is joining FRA and helping the firm to grow past 200 employees while building enduring relationships with clients and law firms.

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

Join FRA – go on, you know you want to! Forensic accounting is a fantastically challenging and rewarding arena to work in – those with well-rounded personal and professional skills and experience will have a great opportunity to progress.

How do you plan to develop your practice over the next few years?

By continuing to offer outstanding service, and flexible and pragmatic solutions and advice. Oh, and a glass of wine or two with friends, now and again.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Investigations

Derek has in-depth experience in structuring and delivering forensic accounting and electronic data services across multi-jurisdiction investigations, assessing and testing compliance programmes, and in supporting complex dispute resolutions. Most recently Derek supported Telia Company respond to bribery allegations arising from its Uzbekistan business, and with disgorgement and pecuniary gain analysis in its $965 million FCPA settlement. Derek is presently co-leading FRA’s compliance programme, testing an international corporation as part of the independent compliance monitor team appointed under a DPA.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO SPECIALISE IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING?

I was lucky enough to have enjoyed senior roles in finance in major international businesses (Ford Motor Company, British Airways) as well as entrepreneurial growth companies (Go Fly, easyJet). I was introduced to the founders of FRA by a mutual friend and realised that here was a great opportunity to use the skills gained in the commercial world to advise and guide clients. My first project was a multi-jurisdictional fraud, regulatory response and litigation case, which I enjoyed immensely, and I have been busy ever since on a wide variety of white-collar crime, and litigation or arbitration support matters.

SINCE STARTING YOUR CAREER, HOW WOULD YOU SAY THE ROLE OF A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT HAS DEVELOPED?

Projects now require the forensic accountant to be able to intelligently advise clients on a wider range of challenges. Most large white-collar projects now combine forensic accounting requirements, structured and unstructured data challenges, and project management needs. One of our beauties is that we offer all of those skills to clients in one flexible package, which is enormously helpful to internal and external counsel. Every project presents different challenges and we are able to listen and offer tailored, pragmatic solutions. Experience of the day-to-day challenges faced in international businesses is really useful in this regard. Clients greatly prefer this to having a “product” forced upon them. 

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES CURRENTLY FACING FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS IN THE INVESTIGATIONS SPACE?

Data, data and data. And proportionality. The need to collect, efficiently process and then query huge volumes of transaction and unstructured data in international investigations is vital. Solutions that are both technically robust and proportionate, and which enable forensic accountants and counsel to conduct substantive review together efficiently, are increasingly required. Technology-assisted review is the pragmatic way forward, something that courts and regulators are beginning to accept. These challenges add project management, interaction with techy folks, and client interface skills to the traditional requirements of forensic accountants.

AS HEAD OF FRA’S NORDIC BUSINESS, WHAT MARKET GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU FORESEE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

The multi-jurisdictional FCPA settlement entered into by Telia Company was a vivid call to Nordic businesses of the potential pitfalls of international business expansion. In addition, Nordic shareholders are increasingly strongly focused on corporate ethics (see Norway’s sovereign wealth fund recent announcement as an example). There is an awakening in the Nordic markets of the benefits for management and shareholders of acting to be sure that their businesses are ethically sound whether acting at home or abroad – it’s not enough to trust that all will be well.  

WHICH INDUSTRY SECTORS ARE THE BUSIEST IN YOUR PRACTICE AT THE MOMENT? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

Sectors include EPC, manufacturing, and telecoms, as well as life sciences and financial services. Factors include big-ticket transaction values and high levels of regulation. 

LOOKING BACK OVER YOUR CAREER, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

Serendipity has brought some highlights. Being part of the management team that started an airline from scratch and sold it for remarkable investment gain, and financing the largest ever order of narrow-body aircraft were both achievements of which I am very proud. However, number one is joining FRA and helping the firm to grow past 200 employees while building enduring relationships with clients and
law firms.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS WHO HOPE ONE DAY TO BE IN YOUR POSITION?

Join FRA – go on, you know you want to! Forensic accounting is a fantastically challenging and rewarding arena to work in – those with well-rounded personal and professional skills and experience will have a great opportunity to progress. 

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DEVELOP YOUR PRACTICE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

By continuing to offer outstanding service, and flexible and pragmatic solutions and advice. Oh, and a glass of wine or two with friends, now and again.

Biographies:

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

Derek Patterson is a principal at FRA’s London Office and head of its Nordic business.  He has in-depth experience in structuring and delivering forensic accounting and electronic data services across multi-jurisdiction investigations, assessing and testing compliance programs, and in supporting complex dispute resolutions.

Derek is recognised in Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Investigations 2018; Who's Who Legal: Investigations (2018 and 2017) and Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts 2017. Sources describe him as “pragmatic, commercial and technically strong” and he is praised as “completely reliable even in incredibly difficult situations”. Derek Patterson is a prominent name in the market who is recommended for his "excellent analysis and superb delivery of expert witness testimony". He was also winner of Forensic Accountancy: Audit and special committee investigations – Adviser of the Year UK in the Finance Monthly M&A Awards 2017.

He has worked on a variety of complex frauds, and on bribery investigations, in jurisdictions including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Eurasia and Russia.  Most recently Derek supported Telia Company respond to bribery allegations arising from its Uzbekistan business, and with disgorgement and pecuniary gain analysis in its $965 million FCPA settlement with the DOJ, SEC, and the Netherlands.  Derek also assisted Rolls-Royce in the civil aerospace component of its settlement with the SFO and DOJ.  Prior to that Derek led the FRA team assisting Alstom respond to bribery allegations leading to regulatory settlement in Switzerland, and supported investigations in the United States and the United Kingdom.  He also provided factual evidence to the Austrian Courts with respect to a securities and real-estate fraud claims totalling over €2 billion. 

Derek is presently co-leading FRA’s compliance programme testing of an international corporation as part of the independent compliance monitor team appointed under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. In addition Derek has conducted a wide variety of compliance programme assessments, internal audit reviews, controls testing, and related third-party distributor and agent reviews. 

Prior to joining FRA, Derek was an experienced corporate executive.  He was the group treasurer for easyJet plc, where he successfully managed significant funding, investment and OTC hedging portfolios, as well as investor relations activities. He was a senior member of the MBO team, which bought and sold the low cost airline “go” at British Airways plc, and worked in Ford Motor Co in financial control and internal audit roles. He also served as managing director of the United Kingdom’s first litigation funding provider, IM Litigation Funding, managing funding in over 50 litigation cases in the United Kingdom and the Untied States.

Derek completed his training as an accountant and auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of Glasgow.

WWL says: Derek Patterson is a highly regarded practitioner with a wealth of expertise in cross-border forensic accounting. He has a strong expert witness practice and is regularly engaged as an expert in complex disputes.

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

Derek Patterson is a principal at FRA’s London Office and head of its Nordic business.  He has in-depth experience in structuring and delivering forensic accounting and electronic data services across multi-jurisdiction investigations, assessing and testing compliance programmes, and in supporting complex dispute resolutions.

Derek is recognised in Who’s Who Legal: Consulting Experts 2017 and Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2017.  Sources describe him as “pragmatic, commercial and technically strong” and he is praised as “completely reliable even in incredibly difficult situations”. Derek Patterson is a prominent name in the market who is recommended for his "excellent analysis and superb delivery of expert witness testimony". He was also winner of Forensic Accountancy: Audit and special committee investigations – Adviser of the Year UK in the Finance Monthly M&A Awards 2017.

He has worked on a variety of complex frauds, and on bribery investigations, in jurisdictions including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Eurasia and Russia.  Most recently Derek supported Telia Company respond to bribery allegations arising from its Uzbekistan business, and with disgorgement and pecuniary gain analysis in its $965 million FCPA settlement with the DOJ, SEC, and the Netherlands.  Derek also assisted Rolls-Royce in the civil aerospace component of its settlement with the SFO and DOJ.  Prior to that Derek led the FRA team assisting Alstom respond to bribery allegations leading to regulatory settlement in Switzerland, and supported investigations in the United States and the United Kingdom.  He also provided factual evidence to the Austrian courts with respect to a securities and real-estate fraud claims totalling over €2 billion. 

Derek is presently co-leading FRA’s compliance programme testing of an international corporation as part of the independent compliance monitor team appointed under a deferred prosecution agreement. In addition Derek has conducted a wide variety of compliance programme assessments, internal audit reviews, controls testing, and related third-party distributor and agent reviews. 

Prior to joining FRA, Derek was an experienced corporate executive.  He was the group treasurer for easyJet plc, where he successfully managed significant funding, investment and OTC hedging portfolios, as well as investor relations activities. He was a senior member of the MBO team, which bought and sold the low cost airline “go” at British Airways plc, and worked in Ford Motor Co in financial control and internal audit roles. He also served as managing director of the United Kingdom’s first litigation funding provider, IM Litigation Funding, managing funding in over 50 litigation cases in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Derek completed his training as an accountant and auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of Glasgow.

WWL says: Derek Patterson is a prominent name in the market who is recommended for his “excellent analysis and superb delivery of expert witness testimony”.

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

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