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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Paul Doxey is a “very detail-orientated” expert with “deep knowledge of the financial services sector”. He is a go-to name for fraud and money-laundering investigations.

Questions & Answers

Paul Doxey has 30 years’ experience in accountancy, finance, business and financial regulation. He specialises in forensic investigations and financial disputes, including testifying as an expert witness on accounting and fraud. He has led large-scale investigations in the UK, Europe and Asia. In 2012 he set up an ISO-certified design and technology start-up to transform the ability of clients to organise and communicate their information simply, intuitively and securely.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN FORENSIC SERVICES?

It suits the way I think. I like to work things out from first principles, with no preconceptions. Therefore, I naturally see things in unobvious ways.

The flipside is that I’m poor at absorbing facts without understanding the context. I can’t accept conventional wisdom on trust – I get a niggling urge to question it. I seek a systemic and holistic understanding.

I love to explore, learn and discover. Performing a forensic project is like a sculptor facing a block of stone, wondering what form it might contain; then chipping away to expose a shape within.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ESTABLISH YOUR OWN DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY START-UP?

Boredom and exasperation.

How society uses technology is in the Middle Ages. There are countless untapped opportunities – whether they are to organise and retrieve information, analyse data, or store and communicate knowledge. The technology renaissance has yet to begin.

There are many interesting initiatives. But there is a dearth of vision. Conventional ways of understanding technology and data structures predominate. Many technologists have a backward-looking engineering mindset based on the status quo, instead of rethinking the fundamental logic, and matching it to need. There is too much distance between designers and business users. Promising technologies such as machine learning are often misused to solve inappropriate problems – like using a sledgehammer to hit a jumping bean.

In 2012, I realised I had spent 15 years repeatedly facing issues in managing disparate, fast-moving information. The solutions were inadequate. I had learned enough to see a better approach. Not being a technologist, so uninfluenced by conventional methods, I developed a working system with more useful functionality than anything available.

HOW DOES YOUR WORK IN TECHNOLOGY ENHANCE YOUR OFFERING AS A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT?

It increases the productivity, speed, reliability and quality of work. It replaces drudgery with creativity-inducing tools, freeing time for what humans are good at: thinking deeply and laterally, and spending time with clients.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR PRACTICE DIFFERS FROM OTHERS IN THE MARKET?

By getting straight to the point, through talent, flair, drive and disciplined attention to detail.

WHAT IMPACT HAS THE INCREASE IN PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS HAD ON THE NATURE OF FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS IN RECENT YEARS?

It is opening the market to a wider range of issues, namely complex crimes that were previously less likely to be investigated at all. My own practice has historically focused on civil work, but private prosecutions are becoming more common among my predominantly commercial client base.

This brings different requirements regarding the standard and burden of proof, and rules of procedure. It reinforces the need for highly organised handling of work processes and internal data.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CASE TO DATE?

Two cases bookend the phase of my career that ultimately led me to establish a start-up: a £20 billion, largely paper-based, asset tracing investigation in the Far East in the late 1990s; and the accounting investigation into Bernie Madoff’s UK business.

Both were memorable in their own right, of course. But the former rammed home, for the first time, the need for proper information and knowledge management tools. It set me on the path of discovering what a good system should do, how it might do it and why existing systems were inadequate.

By the time of the Madoff case I had a mature understanding of the potential. But despite tremendous evolution in market solutions, the case’s knowledge management and workflow challenges highlighted the enormous gap that remained.

That finally prompted me to strike out on my own.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHERE DOES THE FUTURE OF THE FORENSIC ACCOUNTING INVESTIGATIONS MARKET LIE?

I think it will move in a full circle. Forward-looking firms will build teams of accounting professionals who individually possess deeper and broader data skills, supported by the tools to allow them to experiment, and to explore what can be done with information. Technology knowledge will become less siloed.

As the tools mature they will become more intuitive and better adapted to user needs. Then forensic accountants will no longer require such deep technology skills but will be better able to handle rich and voluminous information.

Successful firms will go round the whole circle.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?

Trust yourself.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Doxey is a favourite among sources who applaud his ability to "summarise a large volume of complex material and explain it in straightforward terms".

Biography

Paul Doxey is a senior consultant in the forensic services practice of Charles River Associates. 
Paul has 30 years’ experience in accountancy, finance, business and financial regulation. He specialises in forensic investigations and financial disputes, including testifying as an expert witness on accounting and fraud matters. Issues covered include accounting treatments, loss of profits, asset tracing, money laundering, fraud, corruption and financial crime due diligence. He has led large-scale investigations in the UK, continental Europe and Asia.
Paul was an audit and forensic partner at Arthur Andersen, where he worked for 14 years in the financial services practice. As a member the “on-call” technical team he advised investment banks on accounting for leasing, securities and structured products. He was seconded for two years as a senior manager in the special investigation units at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.
Paul has deep experience in management systems and digital technology. He has founded a start-up to transform the ability of clients to organise and communicate their information simply, intuitively and securely. In 2014 he implemented the first information security management system to be fully certified under ISO 27001 for a UK forensic accounting firm or practice. He has also achieved certifications under ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 22301 (Business Continuity).
Paul is an accredited forensic accountant, a certified fraud examiner and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge and a diploma in business administration from Warwick Business School.
Clients have described Paul’s work as “excellent”, “first-rate”, “invaluable”, “exceptional”, “amazing” and “of the highest calibre at all times”. Qualities referred to include “commercial”, “dedicated”, “insightful” and “rigorous”. A leading silk on a high-profile case considered him “a vital asset in this complex fraud action”.
A recurring theme is the authority and clarity of his communications: sources describe his “assured presence when giving evidence in the witness box”, adding that he “is able to reduce a mass of sometimes confusing financial information to its essentials”, “coped exceptionally well with hostile cross-examination”, “is an excellent and poised witness” and “has an ability to explain and deconstruct complex matters clearly.”
Clients value Paul for his work in difficult or fast-changing circumstances, finding him “highly responsive”, able to “think critically” and demonstrating “a profound ability to analyse complex records”. They report that he can deal with “a great deal of material in a tight timeframe”, “turn around reports in very short spaces of time” and “respond to new developments on a case at short notice.”
A US litigator and ex-prosecutor with over 30 years’ experience, including very large international fraud cases, commented of Paul: “You were one of the very best with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Your perception, your diligence, your attention to detail (including inconvenient truth), your ability to see both the forest and each tree and to articulate clearly what you saw, place you in the first rank of exceedingly good forensic accountants. It was and is a pleasure to work with you, as I and my colleagues can attest.”

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Doxey is a “very detail-orientated” expert with “deep knowledge of the financial services sector”. He is a go-to name for fraud and money laundering investigations.

Biography

Paul Doxey is a senior consultant in the forensic services practice of Charles River Associates. 

Paul has 30 years’ experience in accountancy, finance, business and financial regulation. He specialises in forensic investigations and financial disputes, including testifying as an expert witness on accounting and fraud matters. Issues covered include accounting treatments, loss of profits, asset tracing, money laundering, fraud, corruption and financial crime due diligence. He has led large-scale investigations in the UK, continental Europe and Asia.

Paul was an audit and forensic partner at Arthur Andersen, where he worked for 14 years in the financial services practice. As a member the “on-call” technical team he advised investment banks on accounting for leasing, securities and structured products. He was seconded for two years as a senior manager in the special investigation units at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.

Paul has deep experience in management systems and digital technology. He has founded a start-up to transform the ability of clients to organise and communicate their information simply, intuitively and securely. In 2014 he implemented the first information security management system to be fully certified under ISO 27001 for a UK forensic accounting firm or practice. He has also achieved certifications under ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 22301 (Business Continuity).

Paul is an accredited forensic accountant, a certified fraud examiner and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge and a diploma in business administration from Warwick Business School.

Clients have described Paul’s work as “excellent”, “first-rate”, “invaluable”, “exceptional”, “amazing” and “of the highest calibre at all times”. Qualities referred to include “commercial”, “dedicated”, “insightful” and “rigorous”. A leading silk on a high-profile case considered him “a vital asset in this complex fraud action”.

A recurring theme is the authority and clarity of his communications: sources describe his “assured presence when giving evidence in the witness box”, adding that he “is able to reduce a mass of sometimes confusing financial information to its essentials”, “coped exceptionally well with hostile cross-examination”, “is an excellent and poised witness” and “has an ability to explain and deconstruct complex matters clearly.”

Clients value Paul for his work in difficult or fast-changing circumstances, finding him “highly responsive”, able to “think critically” and demonstrating “a profound ability to analyse complex records”. They report that he can deal with “a great deal of material in a tight timeframe”, “turn around reports in very short spaces of time” and “respond to new developments on a case at short notice.”

A US litigator and ex-prosecutor with over 30 years’ experience, including very large international fraud cases, commented of Paul: “You were one of the very best with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Your perception, your diligence, your attention to detail (including inconvenient truth), your ability to see both the forest and each tree and to articulate clearly what you saw, place you in the first rank of exceedingly good forensic accountants. It was and is a pleasure to work with you, as I and my colleagues can attest.”

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