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Thought Leaders Global Elite - Forensic Accountants 2021

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor is “extremely experienced in the field of valuations” and is hailed by sources as a “very proficient professional”. 

Questions & Answers

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. He has extensive experience of international arbitrations, having worked on cases in London, Geneva, Zurich and Paris, and acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions. His main area of expertise is in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims. Prior to joining BDO, he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa.

What do clients look for in an effective forensic accountant?  

I would say the following – close involvement from the partner, supported by a forensic team that clearly has a great working relationship, members of the team need to know each other’s strengths and particular skill sets; real commercial experience, not ideas learnt from a book; the ability to write well, succinctly, comprehensively and persuasively.

What is the most memorable case you’ve been a part of? 

The s432 inquiry into MG Rover where I was the DTI accounting inspector, alongside Guy Newey QC, now a Court of Appeal judge. When I was in training contract and then qualified in the 1980s there were some memorable DTI inquiries like Guinness, Maxwell, Blue Arrow.  Historically these have been key interventions by the government in UK corporate life and I think for many chartered accountants being part of one of these was an ambition. Taking part in a lead role, working alongside a gifted silk and having the support of a brilliant team was a wonderful privilege.

Why do you think data breaches are increasing at such a pace in the current climate? How is this impacting your work? 

First, as firms for example grow, merge and change business model it is often very difficult to keep pace with IT changes. Second, most heads of IT will have primary focus on efficiency and increasing functionality, rather than the risk of a breach, and many businesses do not have an IT specialist on their board in a critical risk role. This means the awareness of the risks a company faces is not in the C Suite. Five years ago, how many CEOs would have understood the problems caused by unpatched old servers – or even what that phrase means?

I would recommend boards have a look at a couple of publications to see just how serious the landscape is. First there is the latest ENISA (European Agency for Network and Information Security) threat report published in October 2020. Then there is the Europol/European Cybercrime Centre Internet Organised Crime threat assessment, also published last month. Scary stuff!

Ongoing breaches give all firms a lot of diagnostic and remedial work – and the levels of potential fines are only to increase that.

To what extent is the increasingly virtual nature of investigations in a covid-19 landscape making for a more efficient process? In what aspects is it falling short? 

We do not need to spend time travelling to sites to do investigations when we can pull data remotely.  

We have stopped doing conference calls – which I never liked – it now always Teams or equivalent.

Oddly it has also meant that multiple screens has become the norm – some people thought these were an unnecessary luxury pre-lockdown.

Undertaking cross-border investigations if you’re not in-country physically has been a real problem.

And I do not think that a virtual interview is anywhere as good as a face to face – although I know some people do think they can concentrate more on the interviewee.

What new types of fraud are you seeing emerge and develop during the covid-19 pandemic? How are you ensuring that you and your clients are well equipped to tackle the forensic challenges they pose? 

The new frauds are around supplies like PPE to deal with the pandemic and fraudulent claims for financial support. But many investigators think that the effects of the pandemic are causing more and more of the usual frauds – scams over the phone and internet, financial accounting fraud where the root cause is down to financial stress. Companies will cut costs in the recession and often they will get rid of critical layers of controls.

So more opportunities, more pressures and fewer controls. During the recession coming out of the global financial crisis the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners did a study showing how occupational fraud had increased. There is no reason to think this is going to be any different this time.

What do you find most challenging about the increasingly technological and international nature of investigations? 

Pre-covid-19 all forensic accountants were used to the enormous challenges of working on investigations across many jurisdictions, often having to use local resources. That’s very different now, but likely to come back next year in some form.

The biggest technology issues is keeping up with new developments, making sure you can understand how to get data off of old systems and keeping abreast of the latest tech risks – see above for that.

Where do you think the future of the practice area lies? 

I am afraid that the level of frauds and disputes is not going to go down in future. It hasn’t in all the years I have been in practice. So, far more of the same plus some new stuff no one has yet thought of.

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

Look for new areas of work. Get a reputation for the quality of your thoughts and written work. Don’t take things on trust – you are a forensic accountant after all and you are paid to be suspicious and enquiring. Get involved in the detail. Read around the subject – so that means having an interest well beyond GAAP into the law, what law enforcement does, and especially historic frauds, where are there some great books.

I would also say become a great modeller, and you will need to be far more of a cyber specialist than ever before. 

Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor is celebrated by clients for his “unfailingly thorough attention to detail, excellent preparation and great ability to explain complex issues simply and clearly”.

Questions & Answers

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the UK and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 71 times.

You have held many different roles during your time at BDO. How has this variety of experience contributed towards enhancing your expertise and know-how?

I started as an accountant in audit, but providing general business advice as well as tax, valuation and corporate finance advice, from start-ups to very large companies. So over a career of more than 30 years I have had a very broad range of business experience that is invaluable in approaching any commercial dispute. This is particularly the case when trying to understand the commercial drivers of value. I do think that approaching an expert case from an overly theoretical perspective means one can lose sight of business reality.

I have been on BDO’s leadership team since 2008. I was first the head of advisory, and had a role in developing our outsourcing function from a couple of contracts to a major business stream. This gave me valuable insights into how some of the the largest corporate entities are run.

I also had overall responsibility for the transactional and restructuring parts of our business – I think experience of these areas is vital, particularly when it comes to valuation work.

I have for many years been responsible for risk and reputation, meaning I deal with regulators, have a joint role as far as our audit quality is concerned, and I am a client when it comes to cases brought against my firm. So I am used to instructing counsel and experts. All valuable experience when it comes to my own practice.

I was also the audit committee chair of a listed international group – again, invaluable experience on the other side of the table.

All of this experience gives one, first, a much broader view of business; and second, real hands-on commercial experience. For a finance expert that is invaluable.

On what sorts of matters are you most active on at present?

Expert determinations, areas where we support our audit practice and a great deal of valuation work. I expect the current covid-19 crisis to result in a large number of claims, transactions and insolvencies, so we are gearing up for that.

Which key qualities and attributes do successful expert witnesses need to possess? 

Significant commercial experience; technical skills in accounting and GAAP; a thorough understanding of legal process and purpose of advocacy; and, most important, a proper appreciation of the role of the expert witness in a dispute.

I do think you need a very good memory – financial experts often have to deal with vast numbers of documents – and it goes without saying you need to be highly numerate, as well as being able to write proper and clear English. I also think that a sense of narrative flow is important. I have seen some expert reports which look as if they have been written by robots.

An attention to detail is key, but this has to be combined with the ability to take a very high level and conceptual view.

Lastly, you need to be able to lead and work with a team. You rely on your team, especially in time-pressured assignments with vast amounts of documents. And you particularly need to have a well-trained team when it comes to modelling.

What can expert witnesses do to assist tribunals in understanding the reasons for the gaps between different quantum figures they propose?

Not to obfuscate or blind with science. To clearly set out the drivers of value difference in quantum. To make clear what is down to methodological differences and what is down to differences of evidence. 

Do you have any tips for counsel on how to use an expert team effectively?

Counsel are often caught up on all aspects of the case. Quantum is often last and, like with awards, sometimes doesn’t get much attention. On some cases we have one member of the counsel team specifically working on quantum issues.

How do you prepare for a testifying case?

I prepare. I spend an awful lot of time going back over my reports, and the supporting appendices and exhibits, to ensure I can remember what I have said and why, and why I have not taken a different route. And then I go back over them again. 

How do you see the competition for expert witness work evolving in the near future?

Some well-known names have either retired recently or are coming up to retirement, as indeed are some instructing counsel. Expect fiercer competition as the next generation start to see a lot more opportunities for appointments. 

What challenges do the next generation of expert witnesses face and how can they prepare for them?

We are possibly seeing something that I thought would take many years to come about. Remote and virtual hearings. We are being forced into this new world and we will learn a lot as a result. This will be a very different experience, and the only way to prepare is to get early experience. I am currently involved in a five-week trial with over a dozen experts. We have just had a hearing – by videoconference – about whether we can have a full trial by vide conference. And no one really knows what its going to be like – so everyone from counsel to experts to the judge will be learning.

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor is a "very experienced" and "impressive" practitioner according to multiple sources.

Questions & Answers

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. He has extensive experience of international arbitrations, having worked on cases in London, Geneva, Zurich and Paris, and acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions. His main area of expertise is in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims. Prior to joining BDO, he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa.

What do clients look for when selecting a forensic accountant?

Practical experience of business. I do think it’s sometimes difficult to advise on an accounting investigation if you have only or mainly practised as an investigator. The traditional route into forensic accounting – from audit – still provides a great insight into business accounting, which is an invaluable grounding for a forensic accounting investigation. Accountants formerly in industry are another group who have had excellent commercial training. But you can’t learn experience from a book.

Where the investigation is accounting and regulation-heavy – ie, there are complex issues of GAAP and/or interpretations of regulation – being backed up by a technical department is necessary. If the investigation involves auditing you need experience of that – I have read transcripts of interviews of audit partners undertaken by forensic accountants who have probably never seen an audit in decades, and the questions can be stunningly incompetent.

The forensic aspects may need the backup of a large team. I say “may” because, while some investigations do need a significant amount of resource to be deployed, many do not. We have all seen clients swamped by lawyers and accountants unnecessarily, leading to significant cost and disruption. Clients expect the accountant to put the right team on the job, not the largest team.

The forensic accountant may also need to demonstrate backup from forensic technology – ie, data capture, review and hosting, and skilled modellers.

Speed of reaction is also important – this is not just mobilising a team. We are all now subject to the money laundering regulations and being able to undertake due diligence quickly is key. I am BDO’s money laundering reporting officer so I know the rules – I sometimes wonder whether others have as good a knowledge – and the regulators are definitely looking at this area.

A partner who will lead the service and undertake the significant parts of the investigation also matters. Where there is a formal report clients want a partner who can write proper and compelling English. If the case might go to court they will want someone with witness box experience.

What has been the most memorable case you have worked on to date, and why?

There are many – some are memorable because of the stories that come out of them. But I am not going to forget being the accounting DTI inspector alongside Guy Newey QC (now a judge in the Court of Appeal) – in what may have been the last s432 inquiry – and having an 800-page report published by Parliament. Guy and I were even the subject of a sarcastic piece by Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times.

To what extent is the increasingly virtual nature of investigations in a covid-19 landscape making for a more efficient process? In what aspects is it falling short? 

On the face of it, we have had no problems with lockdown – we are all networked and used to working virtually anyway, I got myself a proper office copier (and lots of paper), and I regularly have three screens open. I have just finished a five-week court hearing, all virtual, and we coped.

I should say that interviewing is not great, and we are about to undertake some interviews in the traditional manner – having done the appropriate risk assessment, I should add.

I do think for a lot of people it’s less about the impact on work and more on mental health. It’s not great just talking over the phone, or on Zoom or Teams – people want that direct human interaction. And I do think that there are real issues spending so much time in front of a screen. In the trial I just mentioned, the judge restricted sessions to just over an hour at a time – apparently on the basis of this concern.

To what extent is remote working as a result of covid-19 highlighting the importance of face-to-face interaction in regulatory investigations? 

I prefer face to face but am having to get used to interviewing virtually. Doing this by screen can be very tiring, and often making eye-contact is a challenge. I am sure we are going to see some training coming out of this.

Having said all that, I have seen extensive virtual cross-examination and it does work.

In your experience, what benefits do clients obtain by having expert opinions presented in international arbitration tribunals and/or courts?

If they have an appropriately qualified and experienced expert with an opinion directed towards the relevant issue, then that is likely to be far better than just factual evidence.

What professional challenges are you expecting to encounter in the remaining year, and how do you expect to navigate them?

Workloads – we have been extremely busy during lockdown but that’s only going to increase. As government support starts to be withdrawn we can all see a large amount of corporate failure and I think many investigators recognise that there will have been plenty of fraud in the virtual corporate world. Large restructurings always give rise to claims as historical accounting treatments come under scrutiny. 

Given all this we need to do everything we can to support our teams, retain staff and make sure they are properly motivated. 

What has been your greatest achievement to date? 

Qualifying as a chartered accountant and then becoming a partner in BDO. Those two factors enabled me to set up the forensic accounting department here. 

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"He has a great ability to explain complex issues simply and clearly"
"He is unfailingly thorough in his attention to detail"
"He is fantastically robust under cross-examination and is always very well prepared"

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the UK and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 50 times.
In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing-up of its oil wells.  Since then he has worked on a large number of disputes in the energy sector.
He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting Evidence, Solicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.
His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims; state/operator disputes; takeover disputes; regulatory matters; and valuing companies and damages.
Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa. He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the Secretary of State and DTI.
His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the Director General of Fair Trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.
Asset Recovery - Experts 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor is known among peers as “an extremely experienced expert in the field”. He heads the firm’s forensic services group and has considerable investigative experience and expertise.

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the United Kingdom and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 73 times.

In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing up of its oil wells, plus a number of other claims in upstream and downstream operations, and oilfield capital expenditure in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the PNZ between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (both onshore and offshore) and Jordan.

He is currently sitting as an arbitrator in an SCC arbitration and has acted on many occasions as the independent expert in expert determinations.

He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting EvidenceSolicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.

His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims, state/operator disputes, in takeover disputes, acting on regulatory matters and in valuing companies and damages.

Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa.

He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the secretary of state and DTI.

His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the director general of fair trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor has a strong track record globally for providing expert testimony and analysis in complex asset recovery proceedings. 

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the United Kingdom and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 73 times.

In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing up of its oil wells, plus a number of other claims in upstream and downstream operations, and oilfield capital expenditure in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the PNZ between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (both onshore and offshore) and Jordan.

He is currently sitting as an arbitrator in an SCC arbitration and has acted on many occasions as the independent expert in expert determinations.

He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting EvidenceSolicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.

His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims, state/operator disputes, in takeover disputes, acting on regulatory matters and in valuing companies and damages.

Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa.

He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the secretary of state and DTI.

His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the director general of fair trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gervase MacGregor specialises in valuing companies and damages and has a great depth of knowledge in the international market. 

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the UK and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 50 times.
In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing-up of its oil wells.  Since then he has worked on a large number of disputes in the energy sector.
He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting Evidence, Solicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.
His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims; state/operator disputes; takeover disputes; regulatory matters; and valuing companies and damages.
Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa. He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the Secretary of State and DTI.
His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the Director General of Fair Trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Global Elite Thought Leader Gervase MacGregor is “extremely experienced in the field of valuations” and is hailed by sources as a “very proficient professional”. 

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the UK and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 50 times.
In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing-up of its oil wells.  Since then he has worked on a large number of disputes in the energy sector.
He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting Evidence, Solicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.
His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims; state/operator disputes; takeover disputes; regulatory matters; and valuing companies and damages.
Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa. He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the Secretary of State and DTI.
His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the Director General of Fair Trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

"He's a top man for forensic accounting"
"Gervase immerses himself in the detail and cuts through complexity"
"He has a very strong work ethic'

Biography

Gervase is the head of international advisory, risk and quality at BDO LLP. Gervase is one of the most experienced accounting expert witnesses in the UK and has extensive experience of international arbitrations. He has worked on cases in London (LCIA and ICC), Stockholm (SCC), Geneva (ICC), Paris (ICC, ICSID), Zurich (ICC, ad hoc Cantonal) and Rotterdam (NAI). He has also worked on cases before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, the High Court in London, the Copyright Tribunal and the Restrictive Practices Court. He has acted as expert witness in hundreds of legal actions and has given oral evidence 50 times.
In 1997 he started working as an external adviser to the United Nations Compensation Commission in respect of compensation claims against Iraq arising from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He considered a large number of claims in the oilfield and related energy sectors and was a lead adviser in respect of the Kuwait oil sector's US$23 billion claim for compensation following the blowing-up of its oil wells.  Since then he has worked on a large number of disputes in the energy sector.
He is the author of various books, including Expert Accounting Evidence, Solicitors Accounts and Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agents. He has also written numerous articles for Accountancy and other technical publications.
His main areas of expertise are in the field of natural resources, particularly oil and gas claims; state/operator disputes; takeover disputes; regulatory matters; and valuing companies and damages.
Prior to joining BDO he worked as a petroleum geologist in the North Sea, Australia and West Africa. He has investigated and reported on the affairs of the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings on behalf of the Secretary of State and DTI.
His experience includes acting as an accountant instructed by the UNCC to advise panels on determination of claims against Iraq arising from the Gulf War (1990–1991); acting as an expert for the MCPS-PRS Alliance in the Copyright Tribunal relating to online music; acting in relation to loss of profits (among other issues) arising from the takeover of ERF by MAN (2001–2007, instructed on behalf of MAN); acting as an expert witness on behalf of the Director General of Fair Trading in respect of the removal of resale price maintenance on OTC medicines; acting for the UK energy regulator on the accounting disclosures by the large six energy companies; and monitoring trustee for competition regulators.
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