ao link
Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
Menu
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders Global Elite - Forensic Accountants 2021

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

David Jimenez-Ayala is a “brilliant professional” who is “convincing as an expert witness” and outstanding in anti-laundering and forensic accounting matters.

Questions & Answers

David Jiménez-Ayala is a managing director at Duff & Phelps. David has led major projects in anti-money laundering cases, forensic accounting, damages claims, fraud detection and antitrust. He also has an extensive experience in corporate transactions, both from a pre-deal advisory perspective (due diligence, SPA and valuation advisory) and on post-deal engagements (completion accounts, price adjustments, and claims related to representations and warranties). He is fluent in Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese.

What motivated you to pursue a career as a forensic accountant? 

I have developed my professional career in various fields, including auditing, transaction advisory and even working for companies operating in various sectors, such as finance, energy and services. All this experience has allowed me to experience the different stages of a litigation or fraud. This timespan includes the moment when the action (for example, the negotiation that leads to the signing of a SPA or a commercial agreement) that subsequently, even years later, generates the litigation. I also had the opportunity to work on its financial and accounting impact from its inception to the moment it led to a litigation until it was finally settled. In this context, for years I have been able to attend and participate in the best and worst practices in the prevention and management of litigation and fraud, as well as to understand the different casuistic that may occur. Over time, what initially involved my participation in forensic projects for my specific knowledge in the field, became a full-time career in which I could leverage the experience I had gained as consultant - this proved to be extremely rewarding and motivational.

What do you enjoy most about your role as a forensic accountant?  

What I like most is that each project I have is different and that, even for disputes that may be more recurrent by its nature, it is essential to understand the specific aspects of each case in order to fully assess its financial and accounting impact from an independent point of view. Also, the fact that the outcome of my work is an expert witness report, which is going to be challenged by third parties, adds a significant pressure on the quality of my work that motivates me to learn and improve every day.

What is your vision on the requirements of an expert in order to tackle the actual litigations and frauds?

In my opinion, it is increasingly important to have a multidisciplinary approach. The growing sophistication of litigation and fraud is highlighting the need to incorporate into accounting analysis the knowledge of other areas of expertise, such as valuation, corporate finance, investigations, intelligence services and digital forensics, among others. However, this growing complexity must strike the right balance with the protection of expert independence so that adequate protections against potential conflicts of interest are established. These conflicts tend to appear more frequently the bigger your firm is.

What role have your language skills played in your career?

As a native Spaniard, I have had the chance to pursue an international education and professional path which has enabled me to learn French, English, Portuguese and German. These skills often proved to be very helpful when I worked on cross-border deals but, as expert, I would say that they have been key to be able to fully understand many aspects that otherwise could have got lost in translation. Also, in my experience, when having to question the parties involved in a litigation or fraud, I have found that people who talk in their native language, tend to supply more helpful information, not only because they can express themselves in a richer way, but also because they feel more comfortable and usually are more talkative.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

It was at the very beginning of my career as forensic accountant and, at that moment, I did not realise the importance and the challenge it involved. I was told that I should write the expert report as if my parents, whose professional work is not related at all with mine, would have to read it. I now fully understand that the importance of the role as expert, is not only to determine and quantify certain financial aspects which can be extremely complicated, but also to explain and convince other parties involved in a litigation or fraud (lawyers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges, clients, etc).

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

David Jimenez-Ayala is a “brilliant professional” who is “convincing as an expert witness” and outstanding in anti-laundering and forensic accounting matters.

Biography

David Jiménez-Ayala is a managing director at Duff & Phelps’ governance, risk, investigations and disputes practice. He specialises in disputes, fraud and restructuring consulting thanks to his knowledge in accounting, economics, financial valuation and corporate finance.

David has led major projects in anti-laundering cases, forensic accounting, claim of damages, fraud detection and antitrust. He has given expert testimony both in legal courts, such as the Spanish National High Court, the High Courts of Justice and the Provincial Courts in civil (commercial, antitrust, bankruptcy and fraud), criminal, labour and administrative cases, and in arbitration tribunals (in both Spanish and English). David has also submitted expert witness reports to the Constitutional Court, and he has been selected several times as a court-appointed expert. 

David has extensive experience on corporate transactions, both from a pre-deal advisory perspective (due diligence, M&A mandates, SPA and valuation advisory) and on post-deal engagements (completion accounts, price adjustments, and claims related to representations and warranties). 

He has worked on more than 100 engagements involving the major private equity firms and industrial companies, including cross-border transactions and litigations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Curaçao, the UK, France, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Angola, Algeria, Cape Verde and Morocco, among others.

David is a registered forensic accountant (REFor) and a member of the Spanish Arbitration Club. He received his master’s degree from Instituto de Empresa; his bachelor’s degree in business administration from both ICADE (Spain) and CESEM (France); and studied mergers and acquisitions at the University of Stanford (United States). He is fluent in Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say:

"David is an excellent professional with extensive experience in this field and in various sectors"
"He is a professional who always shows his excellent work in forensic investigations"
"He has a good capability of explaining complex economic reasoning in court". 

Biography

David Jiménez-Ayala is a managing director at Duff & Phelps’ governance, risk, investigations and disputes practice. He specialises in disputes, fraud and restructuring consulting thanks to his knowledge in accounting, economics, financial valuation and corporate finance.

David has led major projects in anti-laundering cases, forensic accounting, claim of damages, fraud detection and antitrust. He has given expert testimony both in legal courts, such as the Spanish National High Court, the High Courts of Justice and the Provincial Courts in civil (commercial, antitrust, bankruptcy and fraud), criminal, labour and administrative cases, and in arbitration tribunals (in both Spanish and English). David has also submitted expert witness reports to the Constitutional Court, and he has been selected several times as a court-appointed expert. 

David has extensive experience on corporate transactions, both from a pre-deal advisory perspective (due diligence, M&A mandates, SPA and valuation advisory) and on post-deal engagements (completion accounts, price adjustments, and claims related to representations and warranties). 

He has worked on more than 100 engagements involving the major private equity firms and industrial companies, including cross-border transactions and litigations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Curaçao, the UK, France, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Angola, Algeria, Cape Verde and Morocco, among others.

David is a registered forensic accountant (REFor) and a member of the Spanish Arbitration Club. He received his master’s degree from Instituto de Empresa; his bachelor’s degree in business administration from both ICADE (Spain) and CESEM (France); and studied mergers and acquisitions at the University of Stanford (United States). He is fluent in Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese.

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2021. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866