Specialist Forensic services
There are situations that call for more specialised skills, knowledge and services. You can rely on us to provide any or all of the following services:
Competition and Monitoring Trustee Services
Our Competition and Monitoring Trustee Services team brings together a unique skillset critical to dealing with competition and antitrust related matters. We have an established track record in dealing with competition damages claims, both follow-on and standalone claims. Our expertise covers economics, competition economics and econometrics.
We are committed to taking the time to understand our clients, their businesses and the markets in which they operate. We use our industry experience and knowledge and the combined skills of the broader Forensic Services team to deliver the right services to our clients, including where appropriate engaging our Forensic Technology team.
We work to identify and quantify damages arising from anti-competitive behaviour, both collusive and unilateral. We apply established economic and econometric frameworks to develop counterfactual prices and determine the quantum of damages.
We can assist at all stages of the process of a legal team’s investigations into competition issues. We can also help to identify companies which may have been affected by confirmed anti-competitive behaviour, and separately investigate instances of suspected collusion in the markets which may affect their corporates.
Our team’s expertise lies in presenting complex pricing analysis in a straightforward and understandable way to assist our clients and the courts. Our experts have provided evidence on cases involving collusion and abuse of dominance at the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court.
We also investigate and analyse regulated industries, assisting corporate clients and law firms in responding to various regulatory issues, including regulatory accounting and pricing. We help our clients to understand and quantify the impact of regulatory policies (such as price caps, cost orientation and regulated cost of capital) and breaches in that policy by regulated entities. Similarly, we are appointed regularly by the UK’s economic regulators to undertake independent reviews on their behalf.
In addition, our Forensic Technology team can assist firms in preparing for and reacting to dawn raids. We provide training ahead of any system reviews following raids by competition authorities.
Our services include:
- Market investigations
- Cartel investigations
- Pre-action pricing/competition analysis and estimates of damages quantum
- Drafting assistance (letters before action, statements of claim, witness statements)
- Calculation of quantum of loss
- Advice and calculations on regulatory pricing and regulatory accounting matters
- Expert testifying services
- Independent opinions on competition/econometric matters
- Providing technical assistance to other experts
- Assistance at mediations and settlement negotiations
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Monitoring Trustee services
Our specialists also act as Monitoring Trustees on behalf of national and international competition regulators.
When competition issues are identified in the course of regulatory investigations state aid reviews or merger review proceedings, the companies concerned can be required to appoint an independent monitoring trustee to oversee the alleviation of the anti-competitive concern.
Our specialists have experience both as independent monitoring trustee, and in advising companies on how best to adhere to undertakings agreed to address the competition concern. Accordingly, we may advise clients on self-reporting or on working with the appointed monitoring trustee to achieve the appropriate outcome for all stakeholders. This may involve working with a team of market and technical specialists across our UK and international networks.
In every appointment, we approach our monitoring obligations in a knowledgeable and impartial way, taking into account the unique circumstances and issues of each case. As approved monitoring trustee, however, we must remain independent on behalf of the regulator, and our team is adept at pre-empting conflicts leading to issues of independence. This means that our clients, and the regulator, is able to have the utmost faith in our ability to carry out the required role.
Our monitoring trustee team also has experience of monitoring arrangements and behaviours on behalf of other regulatory authorities, including in the financial services sector.
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Sale and Purchase Agreement Advisory
Our Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) Advisory team provide pre- and post-deal SPA-related advice to clients involved in mergers and acquisitions. Whether it is assisting clients in protecting their interests and optimising their positions pre-deal, or helping resolve post-deal disputes, our engagement leaders take a hands-on approach throughout.
Our expert advice is deployed at every stage in the transaction cycle from pre-deal evaluation and negotiation of SPA terms through to completion accounts, deferred consideration earn-out mechanisms and warranty & indemnity claims. If necessary, where matters are not settled, we can act as expert witnesses.
We are also regularly appointed to the Independent Accountant’s expert determination role to resolve impartially any post-deal dispute between parties through a final and binding formal process. Consequently, we are also appointed as party expert advisers within such independent determination processes, where we are able to more formally advocate our clients’ best interests.
Our SPA team brings with it a breadth of sector and geographical experience relevant to all M&A challenges, and works closely with management teams and legal advisers in delivering value-adding service. Our clients include multi-national corporations, UK listed companies, privately owned businesses, private equity houses and owner managed businesses.
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Financial Services Forensic
The complex nature of financial services and financial products requires a specialist forensic skill set. Our financial services forensic team provides litigation support, valuation and advisory services to clients in the financial sector. We have experience of acting as expert testifying witness in commercial disputes, valuation of financial products as part of both commercial disputes and regulatory investigations, and advising clients in respect of market convention and risk management best practice.
Our work relates to a range of complex financial products including structured finance and structured credit products (e.g. RMBS, CMBS, ABS and CDOs), derivatives, illiquid cash bonds/loans, leveraged loans, mortgage portfolios and hedge funds.
Our financial services forensic specialists provide expert witness, investigation and advisory services in respect of matters including:
- Derivatives mis-selling
- LIBOR manipulation and market distortion
- Valuation of financial assets in the event of post-transaction disputes
- Investigations into trading portfolios and identification of risk factors
- Advisory services in respect of regulatory investigations, in particular in respect of valuation methodology
- Investigation into fraudulent use of financial products
- Ratings process and procedures for CDOs
- Market trend analysis
- Market and credit risk management
We also offer Quantitative Risk and Valuation Advisory Services as part of our wider risk service offering.
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Our Corporate Intelligence team offer both a ‘proactive’ and a ‘reactive’ suite of services with genuinely worldwide reach. Our key ‘proactive’ service encompasses various levels of Integrity Due Diligence (“IDD”) investigation potential business partners, running from very in-depth work in the context of a prospective acquisition, joint venture or strategic partnership; through similar work on suppliers, distributors, sales agents or senior hires; to work more limited in scope for the purpose of fulfilling regulatory or other compliance obligations. In conjunction with in-depth IDD work, we are also able to undertake more macro-level sector-focused Country Risk Analysis.
On the ‘reactive’ side, our Corporate Intelligence team plays a major role in many investigations of suspected fraud, corruption, money laundering or other malfeasance, working closely with our Forensic Accounting, Fraud Investigation and Forensic Technology teams.
The team also regularly undertakes supporting investigations in situations of commercial dispute, where Corporate Intelligence work can be crucial in bolstering claims made by our client and/or in casting doubt upon or even disproving another side’s claims. In the same context, the team also regularly supports clients with global asset tracing and recovery assignments, whether post-judgment and looking at enforcing awards, or at the outset of a case to assist in a decision on whether or not to pursue a litigation strategy.
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Our specialist Professional Negligence team comprises leading advisers on auditing and accounting negligence cases in the UK and in overseas jurisdictions. Our team includes practitioners with recent audit and accounting backgrounds, many of whom act as expert witnesses and mediators, as well as independent investigators on behalf of financial regulators.
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