Peers and clients say:
"Jacqui is a fantastic arbitration expert"
"She is a real standout expert in her field"
"Ms Record is a go-to name for forensic accountancy"
Jacqui Record is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura focused on disputes and investigations in the Middle East. She is a UK chartered accountant (fellow of the ICAEW) and has more than 30 years of forensic accounting experience mainly within the Big 4 across the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and has testified numerous times in a wide variety of forums. Her key areas of dispute focus include shareholder/joint venture, oil and gas, construction/real estate, and hospitality and leisure.
Describe your career to date.
I landed in forensic accounting work by accident. Having qualified with PWC in London, I got seconded to the Serious Fraud Office and then moved on to the Maxwell investigation. With a lust for travel, I worked in Australia and finally ended up in South Africa where I started Arthur Andersen’s forensic practice, moving later to Deloitte. Having testified extensively in criminal matters, I then began to do more standalone expert accounting work. I have continued to do a broad range of investigation and dispute work ever since. After another stint back in London, I moved to Dubai with Deloitte heading their dispute practice before moving to Ankura. Working internationally has given me extensive testifying experience in a wide variety of forums globally.
How does your broad forensic accounting experience assist you as an expert? What benefits does it deliver to clients?
I find that having worked broadly across both investigations and disputes, as well as in many different criminal and civil forums around the world, I and my team can provide a very practical and multifaceted approach to clients. As needed, we can investigate fraud claims for a civil arbitration recovery, assist in local court work (in Arabic) in conjunction with an arbitration claim in another jurisdiction or simply work well in arbitrations with participants from both civil and common law jurisdictions.
What are the most significant challenges you are anticipating expert witnesses to encounter over the next few years, and how are you planning to navigate them?
Like many, I thought hearings would continue remotely but there seems to be a move back to in-person for some. I believe we may see more hybrid hearings occurring in the future, which can be challenging. Having experience of both is key to remaining flexible as to the venue. Flexibility will also be key as we come out of Covid-19 and deal with the Ukraine conflict fallout and face new and varied disputes.
Some practitioners report that conflict of interest rules for consulting experts in arbitration are not tight enough. Do you agree?
I feel that conflict is something that needs to be dealt with in substance as well as form. Disclosure is the best form of defence to many issues of conflict, rather than overly restrictive rules that may not be practical in all instances.
What are the common pitfalls in preparing for cross-examination and/or hot-tubbing and what advice would you give to practitioners starting out in the field?
The expert must be prepared in detail. Whilst an expert may have a team assisting, it is vital that the expert is hands-on throughout the job, knows the detail, and has looked at all the documents as far as possible. The expert also needs to know the other expert’s work in detail. Having this level of knowledge allows the expert to be prepared for all types of questions.
What underrated skills would you encourage the up-and-coming generation of arbitration professionals to develop?
A key skill is to be able to see others’ points of view. As an expert, we may choose to approach the issues we are asked to opine on from a particular angle, but we need to be able to look at the problem and our solution from every angle and deal with how it can be attacked. Another key skill is to be able to explain complex issues simply in a non-technical way to marry detailed work with the bigger picture.
What steps can younger experts take to improve their chance of getting testifying appointments? Is there an important role to play here for experienced experts?
Experienced experts should be encouraging clients to use more junior experts supported by an experienced expert. In addition, the younger experts should take smaller roles for low fees to get the testifying experience.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?