Asset Recovery 2016: Experts Analysis

In this year’s edition, over 100 leading forensic accountants and digital experts skilled in asset tracing and recovery are selected for inclusion. Grant Thornton leads this year’s research with 12 listings. The firm is closely followed by Kroll, KPMG, PwC, FTI Consulting and BDO, whose experts also stand out for their excellent service. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Nick Wood Grant Thornton, London
Marcus Wide Grant Thornton, Tortola
Ian Casewell Mintz Group, London
Malcolm Cohen BDO, London
Simon Cuerden Deloitte, London

Accounting and consulting network Grant Thornton leads this year’s research with an impressive 12 nominees mentioned in the following pages. In London, insolvency practice head Kevin Hellard is recommended for his “considerable experience” in contentious insolvency. He “excels” in the tracing, recovery and repatriation of misappropriated assets with one client noting that “his professionalism, efficiency and precision” make him a real asset in a difficult case. Head of the firm’s proceeds of crime team David Ingram is “a talented expert” who has specialised in contentious insolvency and the proceeds of crime for 15 years. They are joined by veteran insolvency practitioner Nick Wood, who comes highly recommended for his “vast reservoir of expertise” in the field. He has over 25 years of experience in tracing and recovering assets from a number of jurisdictions and has been appointed as a receiver by the courts of Antigua, Bermuda, BVI, Nevis, Jersey, Cayman and Delaware. Managing director of the firm’s offering in the British Virgin Islands Marcus Wide is “a fixture in the market” with over 40 years of expertise in recovery and reorganisation. In the firm’s Grand Cayman office, Hugh Dickson receives much praise for his “intelligent and careful handling of difficult reorganisations”.

Corporate investigations and risk consulting firm Kroll achieves 11 listings. In New York, chairman Daniel Karson is a “preeminent expert” who has been “one of the major figures on the international scene in recent times”. According to one respondent, “he is a tactical mastermind who makes sure to plan for every eventuality”. Julian Grijns is “an indispensable expert with a “formidable analytical mind”. He has conducted numerous domestic and international asset search investigations for Fortune 100 companies, high net worth individuals and judgement creditors. In London, Zoë Newman is recognised for her considerable talents in financial investigations involving fraud, corruption and regulatory breaches including FCPA and the UK Bribery Act. One client praised her “comprehensive practice” spanning forensic accounting, data analysis and asset tracing claiming “she truly offers the full package during complex, multi-jurisdictional cases”. She is joined by Benedict Hamilton who is “famed for his rigorous investigative approach”. Hamilton is a “top-drawer investigator” who has investigated alleged fraud and corruption on behalf of financial institutions, companies, governments and individuals. In Singapore, Omer Erginsoy is the “expert of choice” for difficult recoveries in the Asia-Pacific region.

KPMG is first among the big four in our research and boasts an impressive 11 listings. In London, Hitesh Patel is “a first-rate forensic accountant”. One client commended his “diligent approach and incisive analysis”. The “outstanding” David Standish is held in high regard by peers and clients alike with one respondent claiming that he is “a remarkably thorough accountant who consistently delivers results in a timely manner”. In the firm’s Grand Cayman office, Alex Plavsic is an “expert accountant” with over 20 years of experience dealing with fraud, bribery and corruption, accounting misstatement, asset tracing and regulatory enquiries.

Professional services firm BDO performs highly in this year’s research with 11 successful candidates mentioned in the following pages. In London, head of the firm’s forensic services Gervase MacGregor is “held in high esteem by peers and clients alike for his fantastic forensic accounting abilities and vast trove of experience”. Leader of the firm’s national contentious insolvency team Malcolm Cohen is "an outstanding expert who works tirelessly to ensure that clients are able to identify and subsequently recovery assets speedily and with a minimum of fuss". Gavin Williamson is greatly respected for his “superb technical aptitude and meticulous preparation”. One source noted that he "drove the investigation with his determination and persistence". Kaley Crossthwaite heads the forensic accounting unit in London and is “a star” with considerable proficiency in fraud and regulatory investigations. The “tremendous” Andrew Maclay is "particularly prominent" in disputes involving fraud and corruption investigations. Stephen Peters is deemed a “masterful forensic accountant” who is “composed and effective in high-pressure situations”.

At FTI Consulting, 10 experts are selected for inclusion. In London, Andrew Durant is a "shrewd operator with a wealth of expertise" investigating asset losses and carrying out asset-tracing activities. Wayne Anthony is a forensic litigation consultant with the best part of 20 years’ experience in forensic accounting. The firm’s Grand Cayman office is home to two “exceptional” experts: Andrew  Morrison, considered “an experienced expert who provides an excellent degree of service”, and David Griffin who widespread praise from respondents for his "proactive, responsive and accommodating manner". Singapore-based Richard Hayler is "a judicious expert with tremendous understanding of the methodology necessitated in ever more complex asset tracing and fraud investigations".

At PwC, 10 experts are recommended. UK forensic services leader Andrew Gordon is a “prodigious” expert who is regularly engaged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice to carry out Europe-wide investigations. He also has significant experience acting for both domestic and international clients during FSA, OFT and SFO investigations. Will Kenyon is a forensic accountant specialising in the detection, investigation and prevention of fraud, bribery and corruption. One respondent praised his “dynamic approach” and “tactical cognisance”. Kenyon has considerable experience leading multi-jurisdictional teams on complex cross-border issues and has led investigations and recovery actions in relation to high profile insolvency cases. In the firm’s Halifax office, James Pomeroy receives praise for his “adaptive and intuitive approach that ensures he always offers solutions-oriented advice”. His practice focuses on the liquidation, asset tracing and recovery and forensic investigation of offshore banks and investment programmes across the Eastern Caribbean, North and Central America.

Deloitte garners eight listings in this year’s research, including the “impressive” Simon Cuerden who heads the firm’s disputes practice in the UK. Cuerden is, by all accounts, equipped with “a keen eye for detail and an impeccable track record”. In Dubai, firm CEO Humphry Hatton is deemed “an industry-leading figure” who has honed his craft in the banking industry. In the firm’s Grand Cayman office, Mike Penner concentrates his practice on insolvency, cross-border fraud investigations and developing and investigating asset recovery solutions.

Alvarez & Marsal is represented by six experts. In New York, Ernest Brod leads the firm’s business intelligence practice and is recognised as “a pioneering figure in the industry”. Daniel Barton enjoys widespread acclaim by peers who praise his wealth of expertise in the field: “He has done everything, and done it all extremely well,” mused one respondent. Another praised him as “a joy to work with” in cross-border investigations for his “intuition, responsiveness and general professionalism”. The “fantastic” Luke Steadman is a “gifted” forensic accountant with over 16 years of experience acting for clients during dispute resolution and fraud investigations across Europe, Asia and the US.

The Mintz Group is represented by three nominees. Founder Jim Mintz is recognised as “one of the world’s premier investigative experts”. He is regarded as “a pioneer” with over 30 years of experience conducting investigations for law firms and general counsel. Christopher Weil is commended for his “highly intelligent and responsive manner”. In London, the “outstanding” Ian Casewell is praised for his “impressive” investigations practice that centres on providing support for large-scale disputes and fraud cases.

Smith & Williamson’s head of fraud and financial crime David Alexander is “a leading authority with a wealth of expertise in complex asset tracing efforts across a series of international jurisdictions”. He has carried out over 200 investigations throughout Europe, America and the Caribbean.

At FRP Advisory, Christopher Osborne's extensive experience in a number of civil and criminal fraud cases ensures that he is a "go-to forensic accountant" in this space.

At HSNO, London-based Gavin Pearson is “a talented forensic accountant” known for his “efficiency and precision” in his work. 

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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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