20 Rue Cambon
75001, Paris, France
Peers and clients say:
"Anthony is one of the top experts in France for valuations"
"He is a dedicated and proactive expert who is very visible in the arbitration field"
Anthony Charlton has over 25 years of specialist experience in the quantification of damages claims in international commercial and investment treaty disputes, contentious valuations, expert determinations, shareholder/ joint-venture disputes, financial and fraud investigations, and other types of forensic accounting assignments. He has provided oral testimony on more than 30 occasions.
Anthony has acted or is acting as testifying expert in many investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters, involving claims ranging in value from $3 million to over $20 billion.
What do you enjoy most about practising as an arbitration expert?
Exposure to a wide variety of industries, geographies, and damages/ valuation issues to solve. Every case is different, and I greatly enjoy the intellectual challenge of framing the loss assessment, working with the legal and client teams, and defending my opinion at the hearing.
How has the dynamic between arbitral tribunals and experts changed over the years? How has this impacted practice?
From my own position as a damages expert, I have noticed a real increase in arbitrators’ willingness to delve deeply into valuation and related issues, which comes perhaps from better understanding and knowledge than in the past. This can only be a positive development and hopefully means the quality of awards will continue to improve.
What excites you most about the future of arbitration expert practice and why?
I think nothing comes close to AI (artificial intelligence) in terms of the potential to increase the value to tribunals of expert work. AI won’t (I hope!) replace the use of experts in arbitration, but it should bring improvements in many ways we can’t begin to imagine. Here’s one possibility: in high-value disputes, it is common to have incredibly complex and detailed valuation models. Unfortunately, with complexity comes high cost and the potential for errors. AI tools should streamline the process of building such models, reviewing them for potential errors, and unsupported or unreasonable assumptions. AI could also be used to perform tasks that can currently take many (expensive) hours, such as basic research, routine analysis.
How do you effectively prepare for cross-examination and hot-tubbing?
It may be trite to say that it is impossible to be over-prepared for a hearing, which means knowing one’s reports and the key documents inside out. In terms of specifics, what preparation is most effective for one expert may differ for another. What works for me is firstly reading the pleadings and witness statements to understand properly each side’s case and arguments; only when I’ve done this will I then read (several times) the expert reports and all the exhibits. I also spend a lot of time reviewing any model I’ve produced so that I’m ready not only for conceptual questions but also those going into real detail.
What are the greatest challenges currently faced by forensic accounting experts like yourself in proceedings?
As I’ve said before, it’s not easy to know ahead of time what damages issues the tribunal will ultimately be most interested in. There are always countless permutations for how the proceedings will play out and, often, experts will produce extensive analysis that turns out not to be relevant. For this reason, it is essential that experts are involved from the outset; the initial meetings and discussions in which case strategy is determined (including around damages) are those in which most value is added in my opinion. It would also be helpful for the tribunal to be more hands-on regarding damages, and earlier than at the hearing, to potentially streamline the process and allow the experts to focus on the issues that matter to the tribunal.
How do you see your practice developing over the next three years?
As an experienced testifying expert, I want to help develop emerging experts and launch their expert careers. One of the differences between HKA and other firms I’ve worked with is that we actively seek opportunities for non-partners to testify for the first time.
You have previously written about the likelihood of another global financial crisis. Do you think the current issues of rising inflation, supply chain challenges and a war in Europe precipitate a crisis, or is this premature?
I think your question is descriptive of a crisis situation already! To add to this list, I would include demographics, high public debt to GDP ratios, US banking failures and so on. It may be a case of hope for the best but prepare for the worst. From a damages standpoint, market volatility, inflation and economic dislocations are all things that need to be taken into careful account when performing valuations and/or loss assessments.
What is the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
Find something you genuinely enjoy doing, and you will have a great chance of doing well at it whilst having fun.