Arbitration 2016: Expert Witnesses Analysis

As the use of expert witnesses in arbitration hearings continues to gather pace, so does the recognition of the leading players in the field worldwide. This year we list 165 practitioners commended for their expertise in relation to international arbitration proceedings.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Philip Haberman Haberman Ilett, London
Chris Osborne FTI Consulting, London
James Nicholson FTI Consulting, Paris
Richard Boulton QC Berkeley Research Group, London
Kai Schumacher AlixPartners, Munich
United States
Brent Kaczmarek Navigant, Washington DC
Rory Walck Global Financial Analytics, Reston
Dean Graves Alvarez & Marsal Holdings, Houston
Daniel Flores Econ One Research, Washington DC
Don Harvey Secretariat International, Atlanta

FTI Consulting leads the field in this area with more nominees than any other firm – 19 in total. In London, Chris Osborne is co-chairman for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and the European head of FTI Consulting Economic Consulting. He is “absolutely outstanding”, in the eyes of his peers. His experience is “second to none”, drawn from over 150 cases of litigation and arbitration, and he has given oral evidence on over 20 occasions in UK courts and ICC, UNCITRAL and ICSID arbitrations. The “superb” Mike Pilgrem is similarly renowned, having given oral testimony as an expert witness before the UK High Court and arbitral tribunals under ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA rules. He was described by one source as “the most intelligent person I have worked with or against”, while a leading lawyer described him as “very good value for money; I would be delighted to work for him again”. Mark Bezant is another individual with a fine track record – he has been appointed as an expert witness or independent expert on around 200 occasions – and a raft of admiring testimonials. “He has excellent analytical skills, gives clear explanations and possesses a good writing style,” said one respondent, while another commented on his "calm and credible demeanour on the witness stand” and described him as “fast on his feet and a pleasure to work with”. David Ashton is “immensely well versed in this area” as a former member of the executive committee and board of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), while the “very impressive” Greg Harman has given evidence before AAA and ICC tribunals. Boaz Moselle is “one of the foremost experts on energy-related disputes” and a former managing director of the UK’s energy regulator. Andrew Mainz scores highly for his “incisive and thorough testimony”, while Christopher Wedrychowski is a very well-regarded quantum expert in construction disputes.

James Nicholson in Paris was commended to researchers as “the best-regarded” and “the most respected expert” in his field. He has given testimony before ICSID and ICC tribunals.

Six further nominees are selected in the US. Greig Taylor has testified and worked on international arbitration matters for both claimants and respondents, under ICC, ICDR, ICSID, DIAC and UNCITRAL rules. James Searby relocated to Washington, DC, from Singapore in April 2015, and is a “very well-known figure in this market”. The “first-class” Basil Imburgia in New York is the North American leader of the firm’s forensic and litigation consulting segment, while Ken Stern is renowned for his experience as both arbitrator and expert witness. Charles Mikulka is “the best around for all types of chemical-related cases”. In Chicago, Jeff Litvak is a "guru" for banktruptcy and restructuring matters, and he was commended for his forensic accounting, valuation and damages expertise in relation to M&A and other disputes.

Howard Rosen in Toronto is the global leader of the firm’s international arbitration practice and “tremendously experienced”. He has provided expert witness testimony in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East and has also sat as sole arbitrator. He is a “must for inclusion on any list of the best”. Neal Mizrahi is an expert business valuation and damages quantification and “engaging, smart and motivated”. Christopher Milburn is said to be “very bright” and is praised for his damage quantification work. The firm also appears in our Singapore section through the selection of Christopher Nunns, renowned for his construction-related expertise.

Compass Lexecon remains extremely strong in this area with 15 experts selected, and its US presence is particularly impressive. Pablo Spiller in New York possesses “great gravitas”, and has testified in ICSID, ICC, LCIA, and AAA proceedings. Manuel Abdala is a “big name” having provided written and oral expert testimony in more than 120 international arbitration cases, while Daniel Fischel in Chicago is a “very fine expert”. Joseph Kalt is “one of the very best” and has served as an arbitrator in coal, oil and gas, and railroad disputes, while Santiago Dellepiane was praised for the quality of his testimony on valuation and damages issues. Jorge Padilla is senior managing director and head of Compass Lexecon Europe, and the owner of a “very good and thoroughly well-deserved international reputation”, particularly for competition-related matters. Neil Dryden in London is also recognised as a “pre-eminent figure” in relation to competition economics and related disputes. In Paris, the “excellent” David Sevy has acted as an economic expert in a range of treaty and ICC arbitrations and has experience of the transportation, energy, defence systems and pharmaceutical sectors. Lorenzo Coppi is “one of the best-known experts in Brussels”, and has testified in several international arbitrations. He is “my go-to guy for merger analysis”, and has worked in various sectors including technology, financial markets, telecommunications and chemicals. In Buenos Aires Marcelo Schoeters has been involved in more than 20 commercial and investment treaty cases and is “one of the premier experts in Latin America”, while Sebastian Zuccon has provided “hugely impressive” testimony in in four major arbitrations as an economic expert.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a “major player” in this sector with 12 nominees selected. Gerry Lagerberg leads PwC’s international arbitration practice globally and is a “class act” according to his peers – “he is tremendously effective, he knows when to concede and is a very fine, sensible presence in tribunals”. He has provided testimony in ICC, AAA, DIAC and ICSID proceedings. Peter Clokey and Andrew Palmer are both very well-respected in this area, the latter having a particularly strong reputation for his forensic services expertise. John Fisher heads the disputes practice and is “absolutely top-drawer”, praised for his breadth of his experience having acted in over 100 transactions. Ermelinda Beqiraj is “building quite a reputation”, while Christian Butter drew praise from lawyers and fellow expert witnesses alike. Deepankar Sanwalka is one of the most highly rated experts in India, and is recognised for his forensic accounting expertise and as is a member of the International Arbitration Council of ICC. Domenic Marino is “highly respected” in Canada, while Michael  Hammes scores extremely highly in Germany and the “brilliant” Sirshar Qureshi does likewise in the Czech research. Further nominees in the US and France demonstrate PwC’s global reach.

Alvarez & Marsal Holdings has significantly grown its recognition in this year’s edition, with 11 of its experts now earning inclusion. Dean Graves leads a five-strong contingent from the Houston office in the voting; he is recognised as “one of the foremost energy-related experts in the US, and therefore the world”. Laura Hardin impressed our sources for her damages related work in ICC, ICDR, LCIA, SCC, ICSID and ad hoc tribunals. "She was first-rate, creative, dedicated and with excellent oral testifying skills,” said one. Laureen Ryan in New York was commended for her ICC work as well as for her investigations practice. Similarly recognised for his investigations expertise, Luke Steadman in London comes "highly recommended” by our sources, praised as a “very experienced expert witness who is always a pleasure to deal with". The firm is also extremely strong in Germany. Alexander  Demuth is co-head of A&M’s international arbitration group and “among the best I have come across”, praised for his valuations work in particular. Alongside him, Jochen Benz was recommended to researchers for his forensic, competition and damages expertise, and he heads the firm's global forensic and dispute services practice in Germany.

KPMG’s global strength in depth is demonstrated by the presence selected experts in the following pages from six countries. Kathryn Britten is one of the foremost expert witnesses in the UK and was universally praised to researchers. “A hugely experienced and technically sound accounting expert: a good choice for any arbitration raising serious financial accounting issues," said one, while another described her as “a delight to work with”. Alongside her, Nicholas Good is “among the best in Europe” and has experience of proceedings under ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, LCIA, Zurich Chambers of Commerce and Danish Arbitration Institute rules and has also acted as expert determiner to resolve disputes. Two further colleagues are very highly rated in Spain: Fernando Cuñado is “first-class”, while Pablo Bernad Ramoneda scored highly with votes from lawyers and peers alike. In the Czech Republic, Michael Peer has a “tremendous reputation, driven by the quality of his work”. In Paris, head of forensic Jean-Luc Guitera is “commercially savvy and extremely thorough”. In the US, Ginger Menown is “particularly well versed in this area” having acted as an arbitrator or assisting counsel in several cases, while Bryan Jones has testified as an expert in a commercial arbitration concerning the management of an insolvent insurance company pending its merger. John McGuiness in Australia is fêted for his forensic skills and is among the most highly rated experts in the country.

John Ellison is commended to researchers for his “unparalleled track record as an expert witness” that includes testifying in more than 40 cases. Furthermore, following his retirement from the KPMG partnership in 2010, he has been appointed as an arbitrator under the auspices of the AAA, ICC, LCIA and Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and this “range and depth of experience make him a giant in the field.”

Berkeley Research Group continues to increase its market share as its contingent grows to nine this year. “Everybody knows” Richard Boulton QC, chair of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd and “a thought leader in this sector”. A chartered accountant and barrister, he has given oral evidence on around 40 occasions in the English High Court and the European Commission (Competition Directorate) as well as before arbitration tribunals. Daniel  Ryan is head of the London office and “very impressive” according to one client, who saw him in relation to a “very large claim” and felt “he did extremely well”. David  Saunders is praised for his forensic knowledge, in particular in relation to the quantification of damages, and he has given oral testimony on 15 occasions both in the UK courts and to arbitral tribunals. Jonathan Humphrey is an “emerging force in the Australian market”, and has experience of proceedings under UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, DIAC and HKIAC rules. The highly rated Mustafa Hadi joined the firm in 2015 and heads the firm’s Hong Kong office. BRG is extremely strong in the US. David Teece is chairman, co-founder and principal executive officer and “renowned throughout the market, across the world” for his expertise, particularly related to antitrust and intellectual property. Christopher Goncalves in DC is “excellent, especially for energy-related matters” and has experience of proceedings under ICC, AAA, UNCITRAL and ICSID auspices. Ben Nolan is a “market leading construction expert”, while Bala  Dharan in Boston has served more than 25 times as a testifying expert in litigation and arbitration matters and is “consistently well prepared, thorough and impressive”.

Deloitte is another firm to improve its standing still further, and now sees eight nominees selected for inclusion. In London, Philip Rees scored very highly and recently advised an arbitration tribunal in relation to the value of an Eastern European bank while Andrew Robinson is “one of the top valuation experts in Europe” and leads the firm’s specialist group in this sector. Elizabeth Gutteridge stands out for her forensic knowledge in relation to quantifying damages as well as in accounting investigations. She has testified in arbitration proceedings and is “consistently and undeniably impressive”. Chris Phillips leads Deloitte’s forensic services in Switzerland and garnered votes from law firms and multinational corporate clients alike for the quality of his practice. Andrew  Flower and Anthony Charlton give the firm a “formidable” presence in Paris. The former is a “big name in this field” and has provided expert evidence in arbitrations under ICC, ICDR, ICSID, DIAC, NAI, DIS, SIAC and UNCITRAL rules. Charlton is similarly well regarded for the “unimpeachable” quality of his track record, which has seen him acted as either a testifying or consulting expert witness in disputes ranging from $3 million to $2.2 billion, both in court and under the auspices of the ICC, ICSID, SCC, and LCIA and under UNCITRAL.  Neil Hargreaves is “one of the foremost experts in the Middle East” and leads the firm’s forensic practice in the region. Alongside him, Humphry Hatton previously led the forensic and disputes services practice for 11 years and has been involved in the region for more than 20, and is “universally well regarded”.

The six nominees from Navigant include Brent Kaczmarek, leader of the firm’s international arbitration group and one of the most highly regarded individuals in our global research. His “quality is beyond doubt”, having been appointed as a financial and valuation expert in more than 100 international arbitrations and more than 90 investor-state arbitrations. “He is the one we want for the very biggest cases,” said one interviewee, as demonstrated by his appointment as expert in seven cases matters where damages claimed have exceeded $10 billion. Alongside him in DC, Kiran Sequeira also impressed our sources: "His expertise on issues relating to valuation of companies is outstanding. It is also very reassuring to have him on a case as he has a unique ability to approach issues from different angles and thus provide a comprehensive analysis." Scott Gray and Gene Deetz score highly in Florida and New York respectively, while Garry Crossley’s construction practice in Singapore is very well regarded. Clients speak extremely highly of Michael Stokes in London, praising him as "exceptional in terms of efficiency and quality."

NERA continues its upward trajectory in our research, growing its contingent again year on year to six in this edition. Antoinette Pincott in London is well regarded – “she dealt with a lawyer well while under pressure, I was impressed” said one. Alexander Voegele in Germany was commended for his “tremendous ability to present complex cases in a way that is comprehensible and relevant", while the “superb” Jeff Makholm in the US has appeared as an expert witness in LCIA and ICSID cases. Chudozie Okongwu leads the firm’s European finance, litigation, and dispute resolution group and has testified in ICC and ICSID proceedings as well as domestic and ad hoc arbitrations. “He is never less than impressive,” said one interviewee. The “intimidatingly smart” David Tabak and former president of NERA Andrew Carron complete the firm’s presence in this edition.

Accuracy earns five places in this year’s edition, split between England and France. Erik van Duijvenvoorde received much positive comment: “He has assisted me by providing economic and financial analysis on a complex issue,” said one interviewee. “He has a sharp mind and is very agreeable to work with, and I have already recommended him to my colleagues.” Another source reported, “His expert report came across as professional and credible and he performed well during cross-examination.” Roula Harfouche is a "very intelligent and hardworking expert” who was particularly commended for valuation work, while Hervé de Trogoff was praised for his “accuracy, objectivity and ability to communicate complex concepts.” The “very smart” Christophe Schmit and “consistently impressive” Jean-Baptiste de Courcel also score highly in our French research.

Richard Indge leads the UK dispute services team at EY and is one of five featured nominees this year. He has provided written evidence and provided oral testimony in international arbitrations, and his expertise encompasses the financial services, transport, and energy sectors. Maggie Stilwell has an “impressively wide-ranging experience” of various types of disputes and transactions. 

Grant Thornton is very well regarded in this sphere, and has four nominees selected for inclusion this year.

Colin Johnson is head of the international arbitration practice and highly rated by his clients: “Colin’s name is at the top of our list given his professionalism, quick turn around and consistently high quality of work” said one, while another testified that “his reports are of a very high standard and he is very robust in the witness box.” Will Davies has given evidence in court or in arbitrations on more than 30 occasions and is “always very impressive”, while Nick Andrews was described as “very diligent and pragmatic, thorough and extremely professional." Clients also speak highly of the firm’s presence in India, where the “top-drawer” Vidya Rajarao has appeared before AAA, ICSID and ad hoc arbitrations both domestically and in the US.

Carlos  Lapuerta in London is “the finest expert witnesses for energy disputes I have come across”, and is one of four nominees selected fromt Brattle Group. Alexis Maniatis in Washington DC is president and chief executive officer of firm and leads the international arbitration practice. He is “tremendously impressive”, and drew votes from across the US and beyond. Stewart  Myers is “incredibly learned in finance matters”, and José  Antonio García in Madrid is similarly well regarded by clients and peers alike.

Kai Schumacher at AlixPartners in Germany is one of the most highly regarded individuals in our research overall. He has acted as both party and tribunal-appointed expert witness in ICSID, ICC, LCIA and German Institution of Arbitration disputes and his clients speak of him in glowing terms: “He has a great sense for the most important issues of a case, and he provides his written and oral reports in a very clear, precise and comprehensible manner.” Andrew Grantham scores very highly in London, while the “very good and experienced” Neill Poole in Hong Kong was also repeatedly commended to researchers. Robert Yerman in DC is well regarded for his intellectual property related expertise as well as for his work on accounting standards.

Four nominees appear from Secretariat International, which was described as a “market leading construction consultancy” by interviewees. The “fantastic” Don Harvey in Atlanta leads the voting, while Ted Scott and Mike Saulsbury also score highly in the US. Amit Garg gives the firm a presence in Singapore and has served as an expert in arbitrations under ICC, AAA, KLRC, SIAC and DIAC.  

Philip Haberman of Haberman Ilett in London “continues to go from strength to strength” and is once again featured among the practice area’s leading exponents. He has given oral evidence and been cross-examined more than 50 times in a range of forums including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, SIAC and ad hoc arbitration as well as in the UK Courts. He has acted for claimants, respondents and in investment treaty disputes and has also acted as a mediator – “there is nothing he can’t do”, said one interviewee.  His colleague Frank Ilett is a “renowned quantum expert” who was praised for the “consistent high quality of his reports and his testimony”.

In the US, Rory Walck of Global Financial Analytics LLC is “truly outstanding”, and is one of the most highly recommended individuals in our research overall. His energy related expertise is “second to none”, and he has 40 years of experience in business management, public accounting and financial consulting.

Interviewees are extremely impressed by Daniel Flores at Econ One Research. “We have found him to be excellent; he always does his homework and quickly grasps the central issues at stake." said one. “He is highly persuasive and he is also very reactive and personable – it is a pleasure working with him," said another.

In Atlanta, Steve Huyghe is founder and chairman of CORE International Consulting and “the first port of call for any and all construction-related issues” for many we spoke to. He has given evidence in ICC, ICSID and DIAC proceedings.

The “hugely impressive” Tim Hart is president of Credibility International in Washington, DC, and is recognised for his work across this sector, having testified in hearings, submitted expert testimony and served as arbitrator. 

John O’Brien is co-founder of Baker & O’Brien in Dallas and is “as good as it gets” for energy-related expertise. He is listed alongside his colleague Alan Reynolds in London, who was recommended for his “comprehensive” knowledge of petrochemical projects.  

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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