Berkeley Research Group
18/F Edinburgh Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Peers and clients say:
"Mustafa is a top-tier expert"
"He is my favourite expert witness"
"His testimony was clear, simple, and easy to follow"
"He is always a pleasure to work with"
Mustafa Hadi is head of BRG’s Asia-Pacific region. He specialises in addressing issues of valuation, damages and accounting in complex commercial and investment treaty disputes, including M&A, private equity, joint venture, shareholder, breach of contract, financial services and intellectual property disputes. Mr Hadi has been instructed as an expert in international arbitration and in court and is experienced in oral testimony. His experience spans matters involving the ICC, UNCITRAL, HKIAC, SIAC, DIAC and CIETAC, and in the courts of the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, the Cayman Islands, the BVI, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
As the leader of BRG’s APAC region, how do you see the firm developing in the region over the coming years?
Over the past year, BRG APAC has invested heavily in expanding the scope of specialist industry-practitioner expertise available to clients. We have brought on several senior figures who offer a depth of expertise gained from serving in senior executive roles across key sectors, including financial services, private equity, power and mining.
In the coming years, I see the firm deepening our bench of industry experts in areas such as real estate/hospitality, pharmaceuticals, energy and telecoms. I also see us continuing to grow our regional footprint, with Japan being a key new market for us over the last year and going forward.
We have also invested recently in our technology and analytics practice, and are increasing our investment in our forensic accounting capabilities to strengthen our investigations practice.
How has the dynamic between arbitral tribunals and experts changed over the years?
Tribunals face increasingly complex technical issues. For experts to be of assistance, as well as displaying deep technical knowledge, they need to help tribunals navigate the technical issues in the context of the dispute – not just focusing on their own opinions, but providing a framework identifying the key points on which the tribunal must rule in coming to an overall decision. I find that experts that assist tribunals in this way are well regarded by arbitrators.
Why should neutrality be the foremost value a party-appointed testifying expert embodies?
For tribunals to accept an expert’s opinion, they need to believe in (i) their professional independence and (ii) their technical competence and its application to the relevant facts and issues. While a technical error can be corrected when pointed out, and need not call into question the expert’s competence, perceptions of independence are binary, and once a tribunal’s trust is lost, it is difficult to regain. Independence is therefore a threshold condition for an expert to be successful.
What challenges has the increasing volume of data in commercial disputes posed? How have you ensured you are well equipped to handle them?
The increasing volume of data in commercial disputes has challenged financial experts to upskill beyond their core areas of expertise and become proficient with the latest technologies that can be used to filter and analyse this information.
In June 2020, BRG announced the strategic addition of a technology and analytics practice to our core capabilities in APAC. The new team’s combination of remote forensic collection capability and machine learning-assisted tools that improve review speed and accuracy have measurably helped our clients reduce the man hours invested in the overall document review exercise by up to 60–70 per cent.
What qualities make for an effective expert witness?
A thorough knowledge of the subject is obviously a prerequisite but is not sufficient. Equally important are: structured and clear-headed thinking; independence; and the ability to convey complex ideas succinctly to a non-specialist audience.
What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
To switch off email for three weeks and enjoy the Trans-Siberian Express with my family. Switching email off for three weeks I am yet to accomplish!