ao link
Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
Menu
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Global Elite Thought Leader Richard Boulton QC is a leading name in the market, and leaves clients “very impressed” with his deep expertise in valuation and damages analysis.

Questions & Answers

Richard Boulton QC is a chartered accountant and barrister who advises clients on strategic, regulatory, economic, accounting and valuation issues, with particular expertise in the assessment and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes, and has testified on over 60 occasions.

What inspired you to specialise in quantum of damages and valuation work?

As a new manager at Arthur Andersen in 1985, I was seconded to the litigation services group in the New York office. The US market for quantum analysis was much more sophisticated than the UK market. I worked with economists and statisticians in the US and returned to London with an ambition to create the premier economic and financial consulting practice, encompassing cutting-edge regulatory and valuation thinking.

How does your background in accounting enhance your current practice?

As a quantum expert, the accountancy qualification itself is useful but not vital; many damages experts are economists by training. Further, there are better experts than me on matters of accounting standards and audit practice. Complex damages claims require a broad set of capabilities: valuation, modelling, modern finance theory, economics and communication. Accountants often have a good grounding in these skills, but they also generally focus on the actual and the historical, whereas damages calculations focus on the counterfactual (what would have happened but for some event) and forecast data. As a barrister, the commercial experience as an accountant is very helpful (and a point of differentiation).

In your view, how has the shift towards more sophisticated calculations based on economic evidence created a challenge for tribunals?

I think this is one of the major challenges for tribunals, and also for international arbitration itself. Investment treaty cases, in particular, have a large damages component, with experts frequently very far apart in terms of the size of the loss (from billions of dollars to nil). Most tribunals are comprised of eminent lawyers, with a very good understanding of the law; but with genuine respect, there are few arbitrators who actively engage (or want to engage) with detailed quantum evidence.

Do you think the increase in transparency found in arbitration proceedings has encouraged experts to remain impartial?

I very much hope so. The main reason I have argued for publication of tribunal awards is to make it harder for experts to argue one way on one case, and another on the next case (eg for a low discount rate when acting for the claimant and a high discount rate when acting for the respondent). Of course, cases are fact dependent; and some experts “pick sides” (eg always act for the respondent). But I am optimistic that increased transparency will reduce the prevalence of “hired guns”.

How has covid-19 affected expert work and the type of matters conducted? Can you see these changes being long term?

The obvious short-term impact has been that hearings scheduled for 2020 have been deferred to 2021, which means we will all be busy next year. In the early days, clients and counsel were for the most part unwilling to trial full virtual hearings with witnesses in remote locations. That will likely change as more of us get experience of remote procedural hearings and lockdowns continue. There is no doubt that there will be more use of technology and less travel. What is as yet unclear is the extent to which that will apply to the major contested hearings.

What has been your most interesting case to date, and why?

The most interesting cases are those where the right approach to damages is initially unclear, and the most satisfying ones are where the approach and answer seem obvious by the time the expert report is written. I acted for Dow Chemical in an arbitration where there were 40 disputed issues between quantum experts, many relating to the impact of a terminated transaction on Dow’s cost of finance (taking into account the effects on credit ratings, bank borrowings, bond rates, equity issues etc). Early in my expert career, I was instructed as Argyll’s expert in their claim against Guinness arising from the latter’s acquisition of Distillers (an undervalued company with many valuable brands). This raised difficult conceptual issues about the cost of issuing shares, and the different impacts on shareholders and the company itself.

What advice would you give to younger practitioners undertaking their first cross-examination or hot-tubbing proceeding? 

Listen to the question (and make sure you understand it); answer the question first (and then elaborate if necessary); be reasonable and accept the assumptions you are asked to accept; remember that you are there to help the tribunal.

You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I struggle to answer this. I don’t have any clear personal objectives. I sometimes consider applying to be a judge. Everything else is pretty vague. I would like to train the next generation of damages experts; I would like to see fewer biased experts; I would like to see more courtesy in hearings.

Thought Leaders Global Elite - Quantum of Damages 2021
WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Richard Boulton QC is “in a class of his own”, compliment peers who consider him “a big player who is active on the highest-value matters”.

Questions & Answers

Richard Boulton QC is an FCA, chair of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd and a barrister at One Essex Court. He specialises in the assessment and explanation of complex damages. Before retraining as a barrister, he was the worldwide number two at Arthur Andersen. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal, and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals.

How has the approach to quantifying economic damages evolved since you first began practising?

I started practising in the UK in 1985 after returning from a secondment to the Arthur Andersen litigation services practice in New York. The UK market was small and led by a handful of accountants with grey hair and gravitas, partners with experience and presence but who would not have recognised let alone explained a regression analysis. A colleague and I had the vision to become famous for combining economic and financial skills in order to calculate and explain more complex damages claims. Over the past 35 years the market has (slowly) moved in that direction: more economists, more charts, more sophistication, and fewer grey hairs (apart from mine).

What are the benefits of using concurrent expert evidence, or hot-tubbing, to provide expert testimony?

I have seen this a lot in the past two years in particular, including testifying for four days in a hot tub in the Singapore High Court earlier this year. It can be very helpful to the tribunal to hear answers from each expert on the same topics, particularly if the experts can debate the answers. This often leads the experts to reach some kind of agreement, or at least to clarify where the disagreement lies. As counsel, I prefer hot-tubbing to follow rather than replace cross examination.

What challenges do the next generation of expert witnesses face?

The first challenge is to get testifying credentials. Beyond that, the biggest challenge is avoiding the pitfalls of bias. Everyone has some level of unconscious bias, seeing cases through the eyes and evidence of their own clients. The challenge is to recognise that and give impartial advice to clients and the tribunal, in the face of increasingly common attacks on integrity. The challenge for tribunals is to recognise the partisan experts (and there are many).

What steps can younger experts take to improve their chances of getting testifying appointments? Is there an important role to play here for experienced practitioners? 

The best strategy is to look for opportunities to co-author joint reports with more experienced experts, providing the testimony on the detail of the work. Experienced practitioners will generally be happy to take cases on that basis. Younger experts can also impress clients when they act as the number two, thereby putting themselves in the frame for the next case (counsel who have worked with you will trust you).

What is the most memorable arbitration you have been a part of?

An ICC arbitration on behalf of the Dow Chemical Company. Great client and instructing counsel; very interesting damages issues arising from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on a proposed joint venture; and an award of over US$2 billion. 

You have enjoyed a distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I helped build one generation of leading experts while at Arthur Andersen in the 1990s, and it would be nice to do the same over the next decade.

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

David Maister’s advice to become a trusted business adviser to your clients. Lawyers have long-term memories: what you do today can bring reward in five, 15 or 25 years. The variant that I always pass on to younger colleagues is to focus on achieving short-term goals, and the long-term ones take care of themselves. If you do everything to the best of your ability, people notice and remember.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

Peers and clients say

"He's a big player, active on the high-value matters"
"He is in a class of his own"
"He absolutely smashed the opposing expert with his finesse, intelligence, and clear thinking"

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.

Corporate Tax - Experts 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Richard Boulton QC is revered for his outstanding experience in contentious tax-related proceedings.

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.
Alternative website: www.oeclaw.co.uk

WWL says

With over 15 years of experience, Richard Boulton QC is a “very good tax expert” with a great understanding of supply chain issues and corporate taxes.

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Global Elite Thought Leader Richard Boulton QC is a leading name in the market, and leaves clients “very impressed” with his deep expertise in valuation and damages analysis.

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Richard Boulton QC is widely regarded as a top-tier accounting expert with an "excellent" knowledge of commercial disputes.

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Richard Boulton QC is effusively praised by commentators, who say, "Aside from being brilliant, he has an authoritative presence that makes him an excellent expert witness."

Biography

Richard Boulton is the chairman of Berkeley Research Group (UK) Ltd. He is a chartered accountant who advises clients on economic, accounting and valuation issues, specialising in the calculation and communication of complex damages. He has been engaged in over 300 litigations, including many of the world’s largest commercial disputes. He has given oral evidence on approximately 60 occasions in the English High Court, the Copyright Tribunal and the European Commission (Competition Directorate), and before over 30 international arbitration tribunals. He is also a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

Mr Boulton was previously the global head of finance and accounting services of a major expert services and consulting firm, which included the forensic accounting; damages and intellectual property; financial services; and healthcare practice areas.

Mr Boulton spent 20 years with Arthur Andersen, including 11 years as a partner. He spent three years (1997-2000) as the number-two executive, responsible for over 70,000 people worldwide. His broader experience included several global leadership positions; 15 years of client work as a consultant on financial and economic issues, particularly in the media and energy sectors; and substantial experience as an expert in major commercial litigation.

Mr Boulton has expertise in multiple jurisdictions. For four years, he spent half his time in the USA (principally Chicago and New York). He has led major client assignments in the USA (Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Minneapolis, Midland), Eastern Europe, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Libya, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan.

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2021. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866