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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Santiago Dellepiane

Santiago Dellepiane

Berkeley Research Group810 Seventh Avenue Suite 4100New YorkNew YorkUSA10019

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Santiago Dellepiane has a “sharp mind” and "ample experience on varied quantum issues", and his excellent communication skills make him a "go-to expert in the field".

Questions & Answers

Santiago Dellepiane is a managing director with Berkeley Research Group and co-chair of its economics and damages practice. He has worked extensively as an economist and valuation analyst, and as a consultant for utilities and regulated and nonregulated businesses. His work involves economic analysis, valuation, business advisory, regulatory analysis and damages assessment. Mr Dellepiane has provided written and oral testimony or expert advice in more than 50 matters involving valuation, regulatory, damages and other issues.

What do you enjoy most about your role as a testifying expert?

This career is about learning, and then sharing that knowledge. We are asked to analyse problems for which there is no off-the-shelf solution, that’s a fascinating thing to be tasked with, and whether we get to a live-hearing, a joint report, or simply rely on our written material, the challenge is there to convey those problems and their proposed solutions.

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

It’s hard to say, the next one ahead is really always the most interesting one, business being a forward-looking thing and all. No, seriously, this work is extremely fulfilling when present and future cases are motivating and interesting, and they always have been and continue to be. A hearing or a submission approaching represent an opportunity to do what I enjoy the most (see above!).

How do you prepare for complex high-value multinational disputes?

Lockdown. It’s the only way. It was certainly easier when we could travel and set up an on-site war room. Now we do the same virtually, it’s something new we’ll all get used to, but preparation is greatly aided by that focused time, committed colleagues being both constructive but never complacent; thinking of every aspect of a case and how we’ll ultimately help the tribunals make their decisions. 

Why do you think there has been an increase in third-party funding in arbitration?  

The field was ripe for this with both claimants seeking assistance in some cases, and in others, finding it convenient to split the upfront costs with funders. But there are at least two very different categories of funders: those who are slightly more similar to a lending entity, and those which have a hands-on approach. I see some entities feel that they can benefit from the expertise of a ‘co-client’ working with aligned incentives but with greater experience with the process.

In your view, what opportunities for Berkeley Research Group will arise out of the impact of covid-19?

There’s a growing amount of work arising from parties invoking material adverse effect clauses and the like. We’ve had some substantial experiences with those, overall as a firm, and are finding it natural to assist on both liability and damages issues in relation to those. 

What professional challenges are you expecting to encounter in the remainder of the year, and how do you expect to navigate them?

Being physically away from hearing centres has been challenging and will continue to be challenging until we (broadly speaking, the arbitration community), find a new normal in the way virtual hearings are conducted, how times get allotted, etcetera.  Will tribunals rely more on joint reports? Will they seek to impose some form equivalent to a deposition if the time to cross-examine experts becomes insufficient in virtual settings. The virtual environment presents challenges but also some interesting opportunities for tribunals to utilise the flexibility they are endowed with, and think of how to continuously improve the process of obtaining expert evidence.

Thought Leaders - Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Santiago Dellepiane is described as “a fantastic expert who is smart and easy to work with”. 
His practice focuses on regulatory and economic analysis, valuation matters and damages issues.

Questions & Answers

Santiago Dellepiane is a managing director with Berkeley Research Group, and co-chair of its economics and damages practice. He has worked extensively as an economist, valuation analyst and consultant. His work involves economic analysis, valuation, business advisory, regulatory analysis and damages assessments. Santiago has provided written and oral testimony and expert advice in more than 50 matters before the ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, ICDR tribunals and the Canadian courts. He is the co-author of Damages in International Arbitration under Complex Long-term Contracts (Oxford University Press).

What do you enjoy most about working as an expert witness?

Clearly the two most fascinating things about this work are: the process of getting to learn new industries, situations, business problems and their solutions; and the opportunity to play the role of a translator, assisting in the communication of technical matters between clients, tribunals, counsel, mediators and others.

What did you find most challenging about establishing a practice in valuation and damages claims?

There is an understandable desire for greater speed, standardisation and cost reduction, but there’s also an increasing number of disputes involving very large sums. There’s a risk that arbitration may continue to fracture between ultra-high-stakes disputes and “the rest” of the disputes. 

Many states in Latin America are changing the regulations around remunerating power generation. What is driving these changes, and what impact will they have for arbitration experts?  

There are massive changes under way by several states, and many of them appear to have direct economic implications for certain investors. And this is taking place against a backdrop of a global pandemic and volatile energy  markets. It doesn’t have a direct impact on us, but presents new challenges on the work we must do to satisfy tribunals’ needs.

Telecommunications cases feature prominently in your work. What are the main challenges presented by disputes in this sector?  

Much like in other sectors, the apparent asymmetry between investor expectations and the reality they have encountered in certain jurisdictions. But we are also seeing complex shareholder disputes in that sector being brought into arbitration.

What importance does pro bono work have to your practice? 

It’s something we are committed to doing more and more of, but frankly, it has been hard to find opportunities to provide value-add based on our skill sets to lawyers representing clients pro bono. Hopefully this helps raise awareness that we are available and want to assist and and give back, and put our team’s skills to work for good causes.

What are the challenges and rewards of training new experts witnesses in this field? 

Time and patience. It takes a certain volume of experience, work, and exposure to a variety of matters, but the field is attracting more and more talent, and we find ourselves competing with academia and finance for top talent. 

What challenges are created for economists by covid-19 when trying to carry out damages valuations in arbitration proceedings?

One of the most interesting aspects of the current environment is the expected length of uncertainty. As economists we have tools to deal with uncertainty in everyday business, in certain industries, and even in times of crisis. The current situation is distinct from prior experiences in several ways, even in the way equities have behaved relative to the crisis.

What advantages does arbitration offer as a dispute resolution mechanism in times of crisis? 

I’ve already been called to testify virtually, and I know others who have as well. Many arbitral institutions have adapted to conducting their business online much quicker than courts did, so that alone has been reassuring and speaks well of the adaptability of those in this field.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

Peers and clients say

“Mr Dellepiane is the best in the field”
“His ample experience enables him to serve his clients’ cases on varied quantum issues"
“The absolute best, in my opinion” 

Biography

Santiago Dellepiane is a managing director with Berkeley Research Group and co-chair of its economics and damages practice. For more than 20 years, he has worked as an economist and valuation analyst and as a consultant covering economic matters affecting utilities, regulated and non-regulated businesses, and advising private investors. His work involves economic analysis, valuation, business advisory, regulatory analysis and damages assessment.

Mr Dellepiane has provided written and oral testimony or expert advice in more than 55 cases involving valuation, regulatory, damages, and related issues before the ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, ICDR and ad hoc tribunals, and before Canadian courts (Superior Court of Justice of Ontario and Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta).

His research on damages in contractual and treaty breaches has been published by Oxford University Press in the book Damages in International Arbitration under Complex Long-term Contracts in 2014; he has also written articles on damages issues published in the Journal of International Arbitration (JOIA), and contributed to books published by UNAM University in Mexico and by ICCA. He is a regular speaker at conferences on damages issues. He has been recognised over several years among the world's top arbitration expert witnesses by WWL. In the 2020 survey, Mr Dellepiane was ranked by WWL as one of the top three US-based experts and as a Global Elite Thought Leader.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Santiago Dellepiane comes in for high praise from sources who commend the first-class analysis he provides clients on economic valuations and damages assessments.

Biography

Santiago Dellepiane is a managing director with Berkeley Research Group and co-chair of its economics and damages practice. For more than 20 years, he has worked as an economist and valuation analyst and as a consultant covering economic matters affecting utilities, regulated and non-regulated businesses, and advising private investors. His work involves economic analysis, valuation, business advisory, regulatory analysis and damages assessment.

Mr Dellepiane has provided written and oral testimony or expert advice in more than 55 cases involving valuation, regulatory, damages, and related issues before the ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, ICDR and ad hoc tribunals, and before Canadian courts (Superior Court of Justice of Ontario and Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta). In 2016, he led a team of damages experts working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on investor-state dispute settlement.

His research on damages in contractual and treaty breaches has been published by Oxford University Press in the book Damages in International Arbitration under Complex Long-term Contracts in 2014; he has also written articles on damages issues published in the Journal of International Arbitration (JOIA), and contributed to books published by UNAM University in Mexico and by ICCA. He is a regular speaker at conferences on damages issues. He has been recognised over several years among the world's top arbitration expert witnesses by WWL. In the 2020 survey, Mr Dellepiane was ranked by WWL as one of the top three US-based experts and as a Global Elite Thought Leader.

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