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Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

Peers and clients say

"He is technically outstanding, constantly available around the clock and user-friendly"
"He is among the very best of the best"
"Garrett is balanced and enormously credible on the stand"

Questions & Answers

Garrett is a partner of Secretariat. He has advised a balance of claimant and respondent clients across all major arbitral forums for over 20 years and across six continents. His work has spanned industries including telecom, mining, real estate, financial services, infrastructure, consumer goods and energy. Garrett holds a chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation, an MBA from INSEAD (France) and a BS in economics from The College of William & Mary.

What motivated you to specialise as a quantum expert? 

For me, there are a few motivations that stand out. Being a quantum expert requires developing a combination of skills and knowledge that I admire. These include written and oral communication skills, a wide range of economic and financial knowledge, the capability of distilling complex information into its essential elements, and the ability to develop and manage a project team. Quantum experts then get to test this set of skills and knowledge in a uniquely challenging environment. In addition, the profession attracts stellar people. The Versant team and its legal clients are some of the brightest and dedicated people I know. They consistently motivate me to improve, which is a wonderful attribute of being a quantum expert in international arbitration.

Your practice spans a huge variety of industries. How important is it for experts like yourself to have specialised knowledge of these industries, and how can younger practitioners achieve this? 

We are fortunate to be able to work across industries because many of the quantum concepts and analyses we apply are universal. It is one of the many elements that make this work unique and interesting – constantly learning about different industries and geographies. Nevertheless, clients are more comfortable with quantum experts who have some industry experience. When starting a career, it is helpful to focus on a few industries to develop a base of experience. A practitioner can then build out from there.

How has financial analysis changed since you started practising? 

We now have visibility into financial performance of industries and businesses that we can use to educate ourselves in a matter of hours – an exercise that early in my career took weeks. The amount of time we spend looking for and synthesising information in proportion the amount of time we analyse it, has flipped. Accessibility to information is an opportunity to improve the depth and clarity of the analyses we present to tribunals. Ultimately, this leads to better decisions.

What are the main challenges currently facing experts conducting complex financial analyses?

Making analyses approachable. We hold tribunals to high standards. We expect a command of advanced financial concepts and financial analyses at an MBA level. As experts, we need to challenge ourselves to created bespoke decision-making tools that are transparent, user-friendly and flexible so that those without financial backgrounds can make reasoned decisions.

What makes Versant Partners stand out from its competitors in the market?

Our team has worked together for most of our careers. We enjoy what we do and excelling as a team. I believe it shows in our work. A couple of attributes stand out. Versant’s partners are involved from the start to the finish of a project. We also expect a lot from our junior staff. Some of our best work comes from a high-performing team of consultants that share a fresh perspective. Ultimately, we all love a good challenge!

How are the benefits of big data being harnessed in arbitrations by experts?

The accessibility and quantity of data has increased exponentially over the past decade. In international arbitration, we are often dealing with disputes that occurred years before filings start. Therefore, the big data revolution is generally lagging in our industry. But, we can see it foreshadowed in other forums. It has some exciting implications for the quality of analyses we can present to tribunals.

What trends are emerging in disputes currently going to arbitration from the point of view of an expert?

In general, I think there is a sophisticated quantum approach by tribunals that did not exist 10 years ago. As I mentioned already, there is an opportunity, and increased evidence, of quantum experts providing tribunals with more sophisticated tools to reach damages conclusions. Quantum experts now need to rise to the challenge, introduce new tools and advance the industry more over the next decade.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next five years?

Versant has a dedicated group of managers and principals who have been solely focused on international arbitration matters for the last decade. The depth and breadth of their experience is impressive – each having worked on 40 or more matters. I am looking forward to seeing them in front of tribunals over the next few years. It is outstanding for them, a boon for Versant and will raise the bar for quantum experts across the industry. 

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"He is technically outstanding, constantly available around the clock and user-friendly"
"He is among the very best of the best"
"Garrett is balanced and enormously credible on the stand"

Biography

Garrett is a partner of Secretariat, a specialised dispute consulting firm. He has been appointed as an expert in US court, ICC, UNCITRAL, AAA/ICDR, JCAA, and ICSID matters. He has advised a balance of claimant and respondent clients facing critical and time-sensitive challenges for over 20 years and across six continents.

Over the course of his career, Garrett's work has spanned industries including:  mining, telecom, real estate, insurance, transportation, consumer goods, infrastructure, technology, and all aspects of energy. Clients value Garrett's methodical, transparent, and practical views on damages claims. This approach has resulted in a track record of successful quantum outcomes on a number of matters where over $1+ billion was claimed.

Garrett's success as an expert witness comes from the intellectual rigour and focus he brings to every engagement. He is hands-on from the start to the finish of every project. Garrett’s approach to valuation analysis in the context of disputes is informed by practical valuation and financial analysis experience gained when: developing revenue enhancement strategies for private equity-backed companies, guiding investors through potential regulatory impediments to pending mergers, providing investors and corporations analyses and strategies related to special situation events and bankruptcies, and developing business plans for early-stage projects and their intellectual property.

Garrett regularly speaks and writes about damages and valuation issues.  He holds the internationally recognised designation of chartered financial analyst (CFA). He received a MBA from INSEAD (France) and a BS in economics from The College of William & Mary.

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