Daniel Ryan
Office:
8 Salisbury Square
8th Floor
EC4Y 8BB
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 3725 8358

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Daniel Ryan is a managing director at Berkeley Research Group, where he leads the London office. Mr Ryan has over 25 years of experience in quantifying damages arising out of claims in contract, or tort, and in valuing businesses and shares in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Mr Ryan is also highly experienced in intellectual property licensing, infringement of intellectual property rights, fiscal valuation and transfer pricing.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I began my career at Arthur Andersen and specialised at an early stage in valuation and damages-related work. Andersen was a genuinely global business and it was a great training ground.

I left at the height of the dot-com boom to flirt with life as an internet entrepreneur, which was great fun while it lasted.

Returning to professional practice a few years later I joined LECG, where I continued to develop my skills in economics and finance and had my first experience of oral testimony. Ultimately, I lead the Financial Advisory Services practice for LECG in the UK, which provided new challenges around building and managing a team.

That experience has stood me in good stead in helping to grow Berkeley Research Group (BRG)’s London operation to a team of over 60 people, a tenfold increase from when I joined, and one of the leading disputes practices in the UK market.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

My early career involved a wide range of consulting experience, from tax and audit to change management. However, what I really enjoyed was understanding how a particular business or industry worked: what were its challenges? What drove success or failure? How was it evolving over time?

I quickly found that the cases where I was able to spend the time really getting to grips with the dynamics of a specific business were large, high-value disputes. Over the years, I have worked across a broad range of companies and learning about those I have not encountered before keeps the work challenging and interesting.

WHAT QUALITIES SHOULD A GOOD EXPERT WITNESS HAVE?

An expert witness dealing with quantum issues needs to be able to quickly identify what matters most in terms of value impact. A valuation or damages model can become extremely complex but retaining focus on the things that matter is key.

An ability to express complex ideas in a way that a non-technical audience can follow, which allows them to understand the principal drivers behind the analysis, and in so doing help a tribunal to reach appropriate conclusions.

Quantum experts also have to deal with issues of significant uncertainty, often with less information than they would like. Being able to pull together the disparate pieces of data to form a coherent whole is what can make an expert’s evidence stand out.

AS GLOBALISATION LEADS PARTIES TO BE MORE EXPERIENCED IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, WHAT, IF ANY, HAS BEEN THE EFFECT ON THEIR APPROACH TO THE PRACTICE? 

The quality of experts has improved to a more consistent standard. This means that rather than disagreements about issues that really should be areas of common ground, there is increased focus on the areas where different points of view are more justified. Forecasting, which is inherent in the creation of almost any counterfactual scenario, always contains uncertainty but if the experts can agree on the basic technical aspects then that really helps the tribunal.

THIRD-PARTY FUNDING HAS BEEN FREQUENTLY HIGHLIGHTED BY SOURCES AS A RISING TREND. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE WILL BE THE EFFECTS OF THIS DEVELOPMENT?

Third-party funding invariably means that more cases will proceed which would not have done otherwise. However, it also means that many of these are likely to settle at an earlier stage. External funders, rightly, in my opinion, view the case as having an investment cost and an uncertain pay-off; knowing when to settle is at least as important as determining the cases in which to invest in the first place.

COMPETITION DAMAGES CLAIMS IS A GROWING TREND. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS DRIVING THIS?

Arbitrating competition issues has historically been complex, with issues around jurisdiction and public policy. However, it now appears fairly established that such claims can be arbitrated within certain limits.

As competition claims become increasingly litigated, driven by changes in legislation and the attractiveness of such claims to third-party funders, more cases will be arbitrated.

Many of the attractions of arbitration, in general, are even more compelling for competition matters. More specifically, confidentiality of commercially sensitive information and the likely timescale to judgment are appealing, particularly in certain jurisdictions.

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CASE FROM YOUR CAREER?

I was recently involved in a large group action involving a publicly quoted global bank in relation to whether certain financial information provided to investors for the purposes of a rights issue was appropriate. I was involved in the case for seven years and my initial analysis had to be based only on public information.

As the matter developed over a number of years, so did the scope of expert evidence, and it ultimately involved six testifying experts from BRG. Many of the issues were interlinked and, in addition to my testifying role, I had responsibility for overall coordination of the engagement.

Satisfyingly, many of the issues identified in my very preliminary analysis stood the test of time and remained significant several years later with the benefit of the disclosure of millions of documents.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PRACTICE DEVELOPING OVER THE COMING YEARS?

I expect to remain at the forefront of developments in the damages market, whether this involves issues in arbitration or commercial litigation. I certainly expect recent trends in third-party funding and group litigation to continue to develop and grow the market and look forward to being part of that activity.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

Daniel Ryan is a managing director at Berkeley Research Group, where he leads the company’s London office.

Mr Ryan has over 25 years of experience valuing businesses, shares and intellectual property assets in contentious and non-contentious matters, including sale and purchase transactions, shareholder and post-acquisition disputes, intellectual property licensing, infringement of intellectual property rights, fiscal valuation and transfer pricing. He also has significant experience quantifying damages arising out of claims in contract or tort.

Mr Ryan has worked across a range of different industries: from technology and media businesses through manufacturing, infrastructure and natural resources businesses.

Mr Ryan is regularly appointed as an expert witness and is experienced in oral testimony, covering matters in the UK High Court, before arbitral tribunals in the United Kingdom and internationally, in fiscal courts and before the Copyright Tribunal. He has been involved in disputes under ICSID, LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL rules.

Before joining BRG, Mr Ryan was a senior managing director at FTI Consulting, which he joined following its acquisition of LECG’s UK business in 2011. He joined LECG in 2002 and was leader of the finance and accounting services business in the United Kingdom. Before that, he was a manager in the strategy, finance and economics practice at Arthur Andersen.

Mr Ryan holds a BA in accounting and finance from Heriot-Watt University. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, a member of the Academy of Experts and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

WWL says: Daniel Ryan garners emphatic praise from peers in the US and the UK as “a smart expert witness who is excellent in the IP space”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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