Accounting Valuation Experts LLP
71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden
WC2G 9JQ, London, England
Peers and clients say:
"I could not recommend Vikki more"
"She is user-friendly, effective and forthcoming"
"Her reports always get the job done for our clients"
Vikki is a forensic accountant with over 25 years’ experience of dealing with both the quantum and accounting aspects of disputes, acting as testifying expert in cases before international arbitration tribunals (HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, ICSID and UNCITRAL) and the UK Court. Vikki has a first-class mathematics degree from Leeds and Paris VII Universities, is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and past chair of its forensic advisory panel.
What are the advantages of having diverse geographical and sector experience? What benefits does it deliver to clients?
For me, no two disputes are ever the same but similar issues frequently arise when determining the quantum of loss in arbitrations. Having extensive experience calculating damages in numerous geographical and industry sectors, being instructed sometimes by claimants and sometimes by respondents, can be extremely beneficial in providing the best solution to a thorny problem. Recalling previous evidence and previous challenges to provide alternative choices for my work, and potentially for the consideration of the legal team and client, based on my involvement in cases related to entirely different businesses or parts of the world makes my testimony stronger and my advice and opinions more useful to the client.
What do you enjoy most about working as a forensic accounting expert?
I love the intellectual challenges that each new project brings, that I am always learning, even when working on cases in industries that I frequently consider in disputes (such as mining, construction, manufacturing, real estate…), there’s always new issues to consider with each new case – and I hugely enjoy interacting with the intelligent people of the international arbitration world.
Do you have any tips for counsel on how to use an expert team effectively?
Two simple tips: first, please communicate regularly with us and second, you can use us for more than report production, e.g. providing information on areas of weakness in expert reports and even on the opposing expert (it’s a small world!) – and do use the whole expert team who will be familiar with the detailed calculations: particularly useful for your redirect.
What are the common pitfalls when preparing for cross-examinations/ or hot-tubbing and what advice would you give to practitioners starting out in the field?
What I’ve seen far too often, and is avoidable with appropriate preparation, is experts being unfamiliar with the details of an expert report, not understanding aspects of the case with a bearing on quantum and being an advocate for the client, rather than following the responsibility t be an independent expert with a duty to the tribunal. My advice is to pay attention to these pitfalls when starting out, know your own evidence, be challenging and interested in other relevant issues and ensure you maintain your independence when acting as a party-appointed expert.
How does Kroll distinguish itself from the competition?
For me, it’s the quality of the professional staff, from our forensic accounting expert team, my colleagues in the construction and IT expert services teams and my colleagues both in London and world-wide with deep knowledge and expertise in industry, valuation and forensic investigation.
What advantages accompany introducing experts early in the dispute process?
Although I’m biased, there are many! We can offer a ‘quick and dirty’ opinion of the likely amount of damages based on the available, potentially limited, evidence to get an independent opinion of how much the case is worth, maybe for settlement purposes, for funding purposes or just to get a reality check on a client’s calculations. We can also assist in requesting appropriate financial information (from the client or opposing side) to get relevant, helpful quantum disclosure and similarly meet relevant witnesses and, if appropriate, other technical experts early. It may also be helpful to get our input on the quantum timetable, potentially led by the tribunal, to agree an optimal expert process. This hopefully leads to an appropriate and well-evidenced quantification included in pleadings from the start of the arbitration.
To what extent has the international arbitration community met the challenge of improving diversity in recent years?
The international arbitration community looks very different to when I started over 25 years ago, it has a far greater mix of nationalities and genders than ever. However, the diversity of forensic accounting experts has fallen behind the improvements seen in counsel and arbitrator appointments, so we’ve still got some way to go. I’m proud to be a female expert with an excellent team and have a responsibility to ensure they form part of the diverse pool of future leaders.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Get a dog! Being forced to take a break from complicated analysis for fresh air helps me return reinvigorated with fresh eyes and ideas. I consider this vital so that I can provide both the detail and ‘big picture’ in my evidence and communicate my points clearly for a tribunal’s consideration.