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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Alexander Demuth is a “very good name” in the market, and is in high demand by clients who say he “explains his cases amazingly”.

Questions & Answers

Alexander Demuth is co-head of A&M’s international arbitration group, and leader of the German disputes and investigations practice. He specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation and settlement, with a focus on post-merger and commercial disputes, and has more than 20 years’ experience in quantification of damages, valuation, business modelling, transaction services, accounting and auditing. His experience includes giving evidence in more than 20 hearings including arbitrations under AAA, DIS, ICC, SCC and VIAC rules.

What do you enjoy most about acting as an expert witness in arbitrations?

The variety and the challenge. No two cases are the same and, thus, all knowledge and experience must be used to master each matter. Often, this involves gaining in-depth insights into a company, an industry or a market. It also often entails adapting well-known theories and methodologies to the issue at hand. As a result, working as an expert witness is exciting and seldom boring.

How has the arbitration market changed since you started practising?

It is my impression that the use of experts has become more common in continental Europe, including our involvement at an earlier stage of the proceedings. And since these days there is no lack of data – rather, there’s an abundance of it – management of information has become vital, and identifying the relevant information as early as possible has become one of the most critical issues.

How does your experience as an accountant assist your work as expert witness?

My background as an accountant provides me with a thorough knowledge and understanding of accounting, auditing, business modelling and valuations – in this way it’s the basis of my work, especially in post-M&A matters. Furthermore, accountants are trained to form a fact-based opinion based on the comprehensive analysis of the available information. This conclusive assessment of information forms a robust basis for sound judgement and, thus, compelling and convincing conclusions.

What are the challenges of working in such an international area of law?

While, generally, numbers, calculations, approaches and methods to assess damages can be used interchangeably in various jurisdictions, it is important to understand the legal framework and, specifically, the requirements for establishing damages under the applicable law. Therefore, close interaction with legal counsel is required to understand these prerequisites.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hot-tubbing in arbitration proceedings?

If well prepared, witness conferencing enables the tribunal to directly compare the opinions and reasoning of two opposing experts on a specific matter. Ideally, this will support the tribunal in forming its opinion on a critical issue, and working towards a conclusion. However, if not properly prepared, witness conferencing will not produce any additional insight, but merely repeat opinions and arguments that have already been submitted to the proceedings.

How do you see the demands of clients changing over the next five years?

Clients already, and rightfully, demand a balance between the use and cost of international arbitration. Considering both the growing complexity of business models and the ever-growing volume of available data, new challenges will arise in meeting this demand.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

The greatest achievement (which is not all my doing) is to have recruited and retained the highly motivated and excellently skilled team that is the basis of everything we deliver to our clients.

Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Alexander Demuth is heralded by peers as “the best expert for post-M&A disputes in Germany today”. Sources say, “He is incredibly in-demand."

Questions & Answers

Alexander Demuth, co-head of A&M’s international arbitration group and leader of the German disputes and investigations practice, specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation and settlement with a focus on post-merger and commercial disputes. Mr Demuth has more than 20 years’ experience in quantification of damages, valuation, business modelling, transaction services, accounting and auditing. His experience includes giving evidence in more than 20 hearings, including in arbitrations under AAA, DIS, ICC, SCC and VIAC rules.

Which has been your most interesting case to date, and why?

Every case has interesting facets and provides for unique challenges. The beauty of my profession is that we continue to learn from every case, building on our pre-existing knowledge and experience.

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

I am primarily asked to support post-M&A disputes, based on my experience and expertise in transaction advisory, business valuation and auditing, including the preparation and assessment of business plans. However, I am also often involved in a wide range of other matters, including commercial disputes and investment arbitrations.

How has the role of expert witness in arbitral proceedings evolved since you first started practising?

There have been some noticeable changes. First, the use of experts has become more common in continental Europe, especially where clients seek our advice at an earlier stage of the proceedings. Second, today there is an abundance of available data, including in arbitration proceedings, so the management of information has become vitally important, and the ability to identify and analyse relevant information has become one of the most critical issues.

What are the challenges of managing an abundance of data and information? How can these challenges be overcome?

The challenges are twofold: first, from the universe of available data, the relevant information must be identified and extracted; and, second, it must be analysed. Identification of relevant data relies greatly on experience, in a specific industry, relating to a specific issue, with a specific system, or with a specific software application. To efficiently and effectively extract and analyse data, we benefit from the intelligent use of software and tools. Not only do these tools enable a faster processing and understanding of the information, they typically also support the interpretation and presentation of relevant findings resulting from the analysis.

How can clients maximise the benefits of experts when involving them at an earlier stage of the proceedings?

Involving the expert early on allows for a focused process towards submission. Based on their understanding of the claim, the expert may suggest a preferred method and approach for the assessment of damages. On this basis, the targeted identification, collection and analysis of data can avoid amassing unspecific and potentially irrelevant information.

To what extent is a damages expert obliged to independently research and assess information or is it advised for them to work on the assumptions derived by clients and counsel?

While there is the odd engagement where an expert is purely working based on instructions (ie, is essentially a calculator), I consider the true benefit of an expert to be his or her independent opinion. However, an independent opinion requires an independent conclusion on the relevant issues, which in turn, is based on an independent assessment of the facts, based on credible and reliable data. To this end, independent research to identify and/or verify the information that forms the basis of the expert’s opinion is an essential aspect of the value an expert can provide.

What steps can younger experts take to improve their chances of getting testifying appointments? Is there an important role to play here for experienced practitioners?

To improve their chances, young practitioners must always deliver high-quality work – this will be recognised by the ones deciding about their potential future appointment. Also, they should seek opportunities to build their reputation in the market by speaking at conferences, publishing articles, or getting involved in professional organisations. The important role of experienced practitioners is to nurture these talents, and to allow and support their growth.

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

Be patient, always be humble and, most importantly, be true to yourself.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander Demuth is heralded by peers as “the best expert for post-M&A disputes in Germany today”. Sources say, “He is incredibly in-demand."

Biography

Alexander Demuth, co-head of Alvarez & Marsal’s international arbitration group and leader of its German disputes and investigations practice, is a managing director based in Munich and Hamburg. He specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation and out-of-court settlement with a focus on post-merger and commercial disputes.

Alexander has acted as party-appointed or tribunal-appointed expert in international arbitration proceedings under AAA, DIS, ICC, ICSID, SCC, SIAC and VIAC and ad hoc rules as well as in litigation proceedings.

His experience covers various industries, including automotive and automotive supply, biotechnology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, private equity, renewable energy, retail and software.

A German national, Alexander is fluent in German and English and has issued reports and testified in both languages.

Alexander is a German Certified Public Accountant and has earned his master’s degree in economics from the University of Passau.

He is a member of the German Institute of Public Auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), and the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA).

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander Demuth is a “very good name” in the market who is in high demand by clients who say he “explains his cases amazingly”.

Biography

Alexander Demuth, co-head of A&M’s international arbitration group and leader of its German dispute and investigations practice, is a managing director based in Munich and Hamburg. He specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation and out-of-court settlement with a focus on post-merger disputes, commercial disputes and intellectual property disputes.

Alexander has acted as party-appointed or tribunal-appointed expert in international arbitration proceedings under DIS, ICC, ICSID, SIAC and VIAC rules as well as in litigation proceedings.

His experience covers various industries, including automotive and automotive supply, biotechnology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, private equity, renewable energy, retail and software.

A German national, Alexander is fluent in German and English and has issued reports and testified in both languages.

Alexander is a German Certified Public Accountant and has earned his Master’s degree in economics from the University of Passau.

He is a member of the German Institute of Public Auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), and the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA).

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander Demuth is a “very persuasive” expert who is highlighted as “an excellent expert witness for accounting matters and investment cost calculations”.

Biography

Alexander Demuth, co-head of A&M’s international arbitration group and leader of its German dispute and investigations practice, is a managing director based in Munich and Hamburg. He specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation and out-of-court settlement, with a focus on post-merger disputes, commercial disputes and intellectual property disputes.

Alexander has acted as party-appointed or tribunal-appointed expert in international arbitration proceedings under DIS, ICC, ICSID, SIAC and VIAC rules as well as in litigation proceedings.

His experience covers various industries, including automotive and automotive supply, biotechnology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, private equity, renewable energy, retail and software.

A German national, Alexander is fluent in German and English and has issued reports and testified in both languages.

Alexander is a German Certified Public Accountant and earned his Master’s degree in economics from the University of Passau.

He is a member of the German Institute of Public Auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), and the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA).

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