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

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

Peers and clients say

"Tim is rigorous in his review and analysis of complex financial issues"
"He is a formidable testifying expert who has calm composure on the stand. I've observed Tim withstand hours of cross-examination and remain totally unflappable"
"Mr Hart's recall of record is absolutely remarkable"
"I am most impressed by his excellent preparation, tremendous work ethic and huge amount of experience in the field"

Questions & Answers

Tim Hart is a forensic accountant with an outstanding record as an expert on damages, fraud, corruption and other financial issues. In over 35 years in professional practice, he served as the disputes and investigations practice leader in three global accounting and consulting firms before founding Credibility International in 2010. Tim’s expert assignments include over 50 international disputes, including 30 treaty cases. Tim authored studies of damages in investor-state cases in 2021 and 2014.

What do clients look for in an effective expert witness? 

Clients look for an expert who can effectively identify the key issues in the case and analyse those issues in clear written reports that provide a solid foundation to clearly explain the key facts to the tribunal. Counsel needs an expert who can quickly absorb the facts of the case and specify the required analysis and inquiry to properly assess the issues included in the instruction, such as damages. In the end, the expert must be able to deliver direct testimony that simplifies the key issues and then be steeped in the case facts to be strong on cross-examination.

What do you enjoy most about your role as an expert in investor-state arbitrations? 

Damages analysis in investor-state cases often requires the application of a wide range of education, training and experience usually in finance, accounting and economics. Cases normally involve high monetary stakes accompanied by important policy issues in the host country, which make the cases extremely important to the clients, which in turn makes the expert role important. Unlike many types of cases with narrow damages issues, investor-state cases require deep expertise to properly value the damages.

Why did you decide to set up your own firm? 

After leading disputes and investigations practices first at Arthur Andersen followed by Navigant and Huron Consulting while also carrying a full client load, starting Credibility in 2010 allowed me to focus nearly all my time on what I love – client work. 

While a forensic accounting firm deals with our clients most important and difficult problems, running a boutique forensic accounting firm is quite simple and nearly conflict-free. Credibility has very low overhead costs which allow us to pass on those savings to our clients and people. We grew since 2010 from our original team of three to a firm of 17 professionals today.

In what ways do you feel your role as an expert is becoming broader in terms of what clients are asking of you? 

Clients have broadened my instruction from damages expert only to include issues critical to jurisdiction, liability and causation. Particularly in investment arbitrations, proving up the investment itself and issues of illegality such as fraud or corruption are often important to jurisdiction and fit into my expertise. Similarly, many of the measures complained of in both contract and treaty cases that impact liability lend themselves to some form of quantitative or financial analysis to properly examine the allegation. Finally, it is essential for a damage claim to show that the damages were caused by the alleged measures and not by other events or the actions of the claimant. Serving in multiple expert roles has resulted in numerous cases in which I have been opposite three or four different experts, which has delivered efficiency and cost savings to my client.

How has covid-19 impacted your work as an expert?  

Covid-19 first caused a delay in most proceedings and then a quick pivot to virtual hearings. This caused my hearing schedule in the fall of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 to be more compressed than normal.

To what extent can virtual hearings be relied upon in high-stake arbitrations and what role do you see them having in the future? 

Although the five times I testified virtually in 2020 and 2021 ran smoothly, it seems impractical for most hearings to remain fully virtual. Differing time zones are a real issue with participants under oath or listening to critical testimony at odd hours with in-person collaboration lost. However, I believe that some lesser fact witnesses can effectively participate virtually.

How does your firm stand out from its competitors? 

Clients only hire Credibility because we deliver value – not due to a large, global brand name. Our team’s experience in international arbitration is concentrated in a small group of finance and accounting professionals who all have worked numerous arbitrations from inception through hearing including hands-on work of the expert throughout. Many of our competitors clearly do not involve the expert in all steps of the work and the teams supporting the expert do not get repeated international cases causing poorer expert performance and a dilution of experience across the firm.  

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

When being engaged as expert in 1999 on my first investor-state case, CSOB v Slovak Republic, lead counsel for the claimant told me that while the case was certain to last for years and would have many twists and turns, I needed to focus on one thing – credibility in front of the tribunal. That advice became a focus that helped further define my teams’ work and later was the foundation for the name of the firm I founded, Credibility International.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"Tim is rigorous in his review and analysis of complex financial issues"
"He is a formidable testifying expert who has calm composure on the stand. I've observed Tim withstand hours of cross-examination and remain totally unflappable"
"Mr Hart's recall of record is absolutely remarkable"
"I am most impressed by his excellent preparation, tremendous work ethic and huge amount of experience in the field"

Biography

Tim Hart is a forensic accountant with an outstanding record as an expert on damages, fraud, corruption and other financial issues. Tribunals have awarded exact figures he presented and followed his methodologies. He has over 35 years in professional practice, during which time he has been a leader of the disputes and investigations practices of three global accounting and consulting firms before founding Credibility International in 2010.

Tim's international work has involved both treaty and contract cases with claimed damages normally in the hundreds of millions, or billions, of US dollars. Tim has been named expert in over 50 international disputes, including 30 treaty cases, with ten more as a consultant.

Representative assignments include: Arif v MoldovaB3 Croatian Courier v CroatiaCSOB v Slovak RepublicCrystallex v Venezuela; FLAG Telecom v VSNLNoble Ventures v RomaniaOxus Gold plc v UzbekistanSpentex v UzbekistanSupervisión y Control v Costa Rica; Telecom Egypt Company v Vodafone; and Vannessa Ventures v Venezuela. Tim's industry experience is wide with particular depth in consulting, energy, financial services, IT, mining, telecommunications and utilities.

In 2014, Tim authored a study of damages in ICSID cases that focused upon the claims made and damages awarded and the results reported by arbitrator, law firm and damages expert. The study can be found at www.credibilityconsulting.com/credibility-international-undertakes-study-damages-investment-treaty-arbitration/.

Tim graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He is a licensed certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
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