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Thought Leaders

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Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Andrew Flower is one of the foremost names in the French market with over two decades’ experience across diverse sectors, including infrastructure, utilities, and aerospace and defence.

Questions & Answers

Andrew Flower has over 25 years’ experience in providing expert evidence on quantum issues in international arbitrations – both commercial and investor-state. He has provided evidence in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of many arbitral institutions. He has been appointed by the ICC Centre of Expertise as a tribunal expert; provided advice to parties in post-transaction disputes; and acted as the determining expert. Andrew was previously the global head of disputes at a big four firm.

What did you find most challenging about entering the field of international arbitration?

I fell into the world of expert testimony more by accident than by design, and my first matter was a major inter-governmental arbitration that culminated in a hearing at the Peace Palace in The Hague. At that time the expert world was one of hobbyists. My boss then only did the work because he was also the firm’s risk partner and thus had good links with lawyers. The initial challenge was to develop expert work in arbitration as a defined “service offering” and help bring it to where it is today, with the array of expert lists and the like. You have been involved in arbitrations across North America, Europe and Asia. What do you enjoy most about working on such an international level?

It’s slightly ironic writing this in lock-down, but I genuinely enjoy working across cultures in an international context and visiting parts of the world I would be unlikely otherwise to visit. Having said all that, we do need to think carefully about the impact on the planet, and I think we will learn useful lessons from this period of enforced confinement.  

How has your practice evolved since moving from a big four accounting firm?

In a firm the size of my previous employer, the provision of expert evidence is a minor specialist area and one that faced challenges in attracting the attention of leadership and investment. Conflicts were huge and ever more problematic. At A&M, it’s a core service line, free of conflicts and one in which the firm is investing in to develop – bringing on board seasoned experts around the world and developing and strengthening the existing team. I am delighted to be part of the leadership team driving this forward. It’s also nice to be able to act on matters (especially investor-state) where previously I would I been barred from acting. 

What issues are expert witnesses facing as competition continues to intensify in the market?

I’ve said previously that the expert community has been getting a bad rap of late: either for being ships passing in the night or showing an unwillingness to work with opposing experts. I am not sure the fault lies with the expert community, but I think one impact will be more disclosure and commentary by tribunals in awards (and thus the press) on whether or not experts have been helpful in assisting tribunals render awards and on the quality of their evidence generally. This ties to the general move to greater transparency we are seeing in arbitration as a whole.

To what extent are delays in the issuance of awards affecting your arbitration practice?

The delay in the issuance of awards is a blight on arbitration as a whole and not just the expert community. Steps are being taken to reduce the problem, and these can only be encouraged. It’s critical to the future of arbitration.

What trends are you seeing emerging in the types of disputes currently going to arbitration?

I am writing this in covid-19 lockdown in France – I don’t think it takes a crystal ball to see that force majeure and hardship defences will dominate international arbitration (both commercial and investor state) over the next years, if not the next decade, across all industries and business sectors. 

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?

I think it is critically important for someone new to attach themselves to a good mentor: someone who sees the need to bring on new talent and give an opportunity to the next generation. This was something I was told early on and took to heart. I am also proud to have been able to offer that opportunity to a number of people in my teams over the years. In practical terms getting testifying roles can be done in a variety of ways: jointly signed reports are one; identification of relatively “simple” cases another. Clients may also be attracted by cost savings where a younger, less experienced expert is used or where it has a series of similar matters and needs to spread the testifying load.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Andrew Flower is one of the foremost names in the French market with over two decades’ experience across diverse sectors, including infrastructure, utilities, and aerospace and defence.

Biography

Andrew Flower has over 25 years’ experience providing expert evidence in international arbitration (both commercial and investor-state). He has provided expert evidence in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of many institutions including ICC, ICDR, ICSID, DIAC, NAI, DIS, and under UNCITRAL rules. He has provided written evidence in over 150 disputes and has testified and been cross-examined on his evidence on many occasions before tribunals around the world including New York; Washington DC; London; Paris; Stockholm; Geneva; Zurich; Dubai; Singapore; the Hague and Brisbane.

Andrew has been listed by Who’s Who Legal as a leading expert in arbitration since inception of the list. In 2019 he was globally recognised as a Thought Leader in International Arbitration.

In the course of his career, Andrew has also provided advice to parties in post-transaction disputes, both in connection with arbitrations and in the context of expert determinations. Andrew has acted both as an advisor to one of the parties and as the appointed determining expert.

Andrew has been appointed as an independent expert by the ICC Centre of Expertise. He has also been appointed by a tribunal in an ICC arbitration. Andrew has also acted as mediator in a royalty dispute.

In addition to his arbitration related experience Andrew assisted Vivendi as defendant in its long running class actions suits in the New York Courts in relation to its management in the Messier era and has provided written expert evidence in matters before the English High Court. He was also one of the senior advisers to the Kuwait government in the assessment of corporate claims for damages arising from the First Gulf War.

Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and is a native English and fluent French speaker.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Andrew Flower is held in high esteem by market sources, who consider him a top choice in France for providing expert testimony in high-value arbitrations. 

Biography

Andrew Flower has over 25 years’ experience providing expert evidence in international arbitration (both commercial and investor-state). He has provided expert evidence in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of many institutions including ICC, ICDR, ICSID, DIAC, NAI, DIS, and under UNCITRAL rules. He has provided written evidence in over 150 disputes and has testified and been cross-examined on his evidence on many occasions before tribunals around the world including New York; Washington DC; London; Paris; Stockholm; Geneva; Zurich; Dubai; Singapore; the Hague and Brisbane.

Andrew has been listed by Who’s Who Legal as a leading expert in arbitration since inception of the list. In 2019 he was globally recognised as a Thought Leader in International Arbitration.

In the course of his career, Andrew has also provided advice to parties in post-transaction disputes, both in connection with arbitrations and in the context of expert determinations. Andrew has acted both as an advisor to one of the parties and as the appointed determining expert.

Andrew has been appointed as an independent expert by the ICC Centre of Expertise. He has also been appointed by a tribunal in an ICC arbitration. Andrew has also acted as mediator in a royalty dispute.

In addition to his arbitration related experience Andrew assisted Vivendi as defendant in its long running class actions suits in the New York Courts in relation to its management in the Messier era and has provided written expert evidence in matters before the English High Court. He was also one of the senior advisers to the Kuwait government in the assessment of corporate claims for damages arising from the First Gulf War.

Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and is a native English and fluent French speaker.

National Leader

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