Andrew Flower
Office:
24 rue Royale
75008
City:
Paris
Country:
France
Tel:
+33 1 44 50 01 11

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Mr Flower brings over 25 years’ experience in forensic accounting, providing expert evidence in high-profile international arbitrations – both commercial and investor-state. He has provided evidence in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of most of arbitral institutions and under the UNCITRAL rules. He has also been appointed by the ICC Centre of Expertise and as a tribunal expert. Mr Flower was previously the global head of disputes and arbitration at one of the Big Four accounting firms.

What motivated you to pursue a career as an expert witness?

Frankly, I fell into the world of forensic accounting more by accident than by design. However, my first-ever matter ran for three years, and culminated in the lead partner providing evidence before a distinguished panel at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. This got me hooked pretty fast, especially when combined with the intoxicating mix of working across cultures in an international context and visiting parts of the world I would be unlikely otherwise
to visit.

What do you enjoy most about working in the field of arbitration?

I certainly enjoy the international cross-cultural aspects noted above. I also like the way in which there is the crossover and interrelationship between my valuation and accounting skills, the art of providing compelling expert evidence in a dispute, and the thorny legal issues that ultimately underpin the core of the dispute. Experts occasionally get a bad rap (for a variety of reasons), but ultimately, it’s comforting to know that a party always reads an award backwards: starting with the financial outcome and only then looking at how the tribunal got there!

How has the role of an expert changed since you first started practising?

Twenty-five years ago there were a few people in big accounting firms with a focus (primarily tied to accounting malpractice suits) and a few former industry people boosting their pensions by dabbling in the world of expert evidence. The world of hobbyists is long gone: we now have publications like WWL listing leading experts, conferences on what makes a good expert, guides on giving evidence and academies for like-minded experts. The world has become far more competitive and challenging.

What effect has the emergence of regional arbitration centres around the world, such as SIAC, had on the market?

I think to date the emergence of regional arbitration centres has had less impact on the expert world than on the lawyers. In my experience, lawyers will still look for the right expert for their matter and issues of geographical proximity remain very much secondary. Singapore and Dubai are cases in point: there remain few experts who have relocated there so far relative to the level of lawyer relocations.

How are recent technological developments impacting the way you approach quantum analysis?

We are in a state of flux. Technology has changed significantly concerning the speed one can review and assess documents, whether emails, invoices or whatever. However, many expert reports are still constructed on the basis of a written expert report supported by an Excel model annexed to it built from data provided by clients. This is sure to change with, for example, financial data available remotely avoiding the need for substantial manual input. In construction claims, I have seen thousands of invoices charged to a particular project initially reviewed and assessed as relevant, duplicate or miscoded (or not), without human input. Automation is only going to accelerate this.

Looking back over your career, what has been your proudest achievement?

As previously noted, my first case concluded with the partner I was working for giving evidence before a distinguished panel at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Twenty years later I was able to give evidence myself in the same room, again before a distinguished panel. I shared the news with my early mentor. It was a very proud moment that I have since been able to repeat on two other occasions (most recently during the summer 2018 heatwave).

Where, in your opinion, does the future of the practice area lie?

Notwithstanding the doomsayers, I remain of the view that we are in the golden age of arbitration and this is set to continue as global trade continues to flourish and expand. I think we will see changes in the way things are done: there will be technological change, there will be more regulation and transparency must improve. In the past two decades, we have seen the rise of the under-40 groups and ArbitralWomen. This can only be good for the future of the community, bringing fresh blood and fresh ideas to push for change.

What advice would give to someone starting out as a testifying expert?

One of the classic challenges for someone coming into the world of expert evidence is how to find that first opportunity to give evidence. I think it is critically important, therefore, for someone new to attach themselves to a good mentor: someone who sees the need to bring on new talent and give the opportunity to the next generation. I am proud to have been able to offer that opportunity to a number of people in my teams over the years.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Expert Witnesses

Andrew Flower has over 25 years’ experience providing expert evidence in international arbitration (both commercial and investor-state). He has provided expert evidence in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of many institutions including ICC, ICDR, ICSID, DIAC, NAI, DIS, and under UNCITRAL rules. He has provided written evidence in over 150 disputes and has testified and been cross-examined on his evidence on many occasions before tribunals around the world including New York; Washington DC; London; Paris; Stockholm; Geneva; Zurich; Dubai; Singapore; the Hague and Brisbane.

In 2017, Andrew was listed by Who’s Who Legal as one of the top 10 leading expert witnesses in international arbitration in Europe. He has been listed as a leading expert by Who’s Who Legal since inception of the list. In 2017 he was also one of 24 experts globally to be recognised as a Thought Leader in International Arbitration.

In the course of his career, Andrew has also provided advice to parties in post-transaction disputes, both in connection with arbitrations and in the context of expert determinations. Andrew has acted both as an advisor to one of the parties and as the appointed determining expert.

Andrew has been appointed as an independent expert by the ICC Centre of Expertise. He has also been appointed by a tribunal in an ICC arbitration matter between a US conglomerate and an Asian metropolitan municipality concerning the valuation of an equipment supply contract. Andrew also acted as mediator in a royalty dispute between a French company and a company based in Liechtenstein concerning the alleged understatement of sales of a licensed product.

In addition to his arbitration related experience Andrew assisted Vivendi as defendant in its long running class actions suits in the New York Courts in relation to its management in the Messier era and has provided written expert evidence in matters before the English High Court. He was also one of the senior advisers to the Kuwait government in the assessment of corporate claims for damages arising from the First Gulf War.

Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and is a native English and fluent French speaker.

WWL says: "Excellent accountant" Andrew Flower heads up the firm's Paris office and is noted for his outstanding expertise in the French market.

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

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Financial Advisory and Valuation - Quantum of Damages

Andrew Flower has extensive experience providing expert evidence in international arbitration. He has provided written evidence in over 150 disputes and has testified and been cross-examined on his evidence on many occasions around the world. 

In 2017, Andrew was listed in WWL: International Arbitration as one of the top 10 leading expert witnesses in Europe, having been recommended as a leading expert since the list’s inception. Also in 2017, he was one of 24 experts recognised as a Thought Leader in international arbitration.

In June 2018, he joined Haberman Ilett to set up its Paris office. Prior to joining Haberman Ilett, Andrew was the global leader of the disputes practice at Deloitte.

Andrew has dealt with disputes in many industries including aerospace and defence, manufacturing, transport, pharmaceuticals, education, property, information technology, telecommunications, mining, construction, and travel and leisure. He has acted in disputes between joint venture partners, in distribution contract disputes and in connection with the privatisation of businesses in CEE.

In the course of his career Andrew has also provided advice to parties in post-transaction disputes, both in arbitrations and in expert determinations. Andrew has acted both as an adviser to a party and as the appointed determining expert. 

Andrew has been appointed as an independent expert by the ICC Centre of Expertise and by a tribunal in an ICC arbitration. 

Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He speaks English (native) and French (fluent).

WWL says: Andrew Flower possesses over 20 years of testifying experience in international disputes and is recognised for his quantum expertise across a range of industries from transport to pharmaceuticals and TMT.

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

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