The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street
SE1 9SG, London, England
Peers and clients say:
"When choosing an expert to appoint Frank is always one to consider"
"He is a very experienced expert witness"
Frank Ilett is a managing director at Kroll. He has specialised in forensic accounting since 1991, spending 22 years in Big Four firms (13 as partner) before joining Philip Haberman at Haberman Ilett, which was acquired by Kroll in 2020. Frank has been actively involved in over 175 matters, including commercial disputes, shareholder disputes, investment treaty claims, transaction-related disputes, negligence claims and disputes arising out of accounting and financial irregularities. His experience spans most industry sectors.
Describe your career to date.
Challenging – which is perhaps unsurprising because I love a challenge. I started work at 19 in the incomplete records department of a small accounting firm. I progressed to auditing, preparing management accounts and tax returns, then moved into a Big Four firm. After a short spell in audit and working overseas, I moved into forensic work. I love the intellectual rigour of the work and the fact that the tiniest details, when analysed properly, can change a very large case.
How do you distinguish yourself from competitors in the market?
All clients want experts who offer an excellent quality of service, thorough analysis of the evidence, deep expertise, and the ability to both identify key points quickly, and to explain complex accounting and financial issues in a simple way. I strive to provide these attributes to the best of my ability and in a user-friendly and personable way.
What advice would you share with other experts who hope to one day be in your position?
You have to believe, and know why, you are or can become the best; and follow a plan to get there. That has to be allied with hard work but it has to be the right work. It is the same in sport: you can practise as much as you like on the driving range but if you practise the wrong things you will never become great at golf. Work out what are the right things and work hard at them.
What qualities do clients look for in an expert witness?
Genuine expertise is a pre-requisite as well as a track record of preparing expert reports and giving expert evidence. Key personal qualities include: excellent communication, understanding the legal team’s needs in the case, confidence in one’s own abilities and opinions, being able to balance leadership and teamwork, staying calm under pressure.
From your perspective as an expert witness, what would you say is the greatest challenge facing individuals active in arbitration in the UK?
Technological developments. Individuals, companies and governments retain vast amounts of electronic data. New technology will help us retrieve and analyse that data; experts will need to understand these developments in order to achieve competitive advantage.