Brienner Straße 45 a-d
80333, Munich, Germany
Mark Taylor is held in high esteem by peers, who note: "His ability to grasp technical matters of a project is impressive, and his expertise are highly regarded in the market."
Alexander Demuth specialises in advising clients in arbitration, litigation, and settlements with a focus on post-merger and commercial disputes as well as investor-state arbitrations. Mr Demuth has more than 25 years’ experience in quantification of damages, valuation, business modelling, transaction services, accounting, and auditing. His experience includes giving evidence in more than 30 hearings, including in arbitrations under AAA, DIS, HKIAC, ICC, SCC, VIAC and ICSID rules.
What did you find most challenging about starting out as an expert witness?
When I specialised in this field over 10 years ago, an expert witness was not a defined profession in Germany. Thus, my biggest challenge – and opportunity – was to develop something new, building on my experience in valuation, financial modelling, financial due diligence, auditing, and accounting.
In addition, I was faced with the key challenge that every expert witness experiences, that of being appointed for the first time. Thankfully for me, my network came through and, a former client remembered our collaboration during a transaction and asked for my support in a post-merger dispute and that became my first testifying experience.
Which industries are seeing the most disputes at the moment? Why might this be?
Currently, we see two key drivers for most of the newer disputes, i.e., changes in regulations (e.g., in the renewable energy sector) and changes in the economic environment (e.g., in post-merger disputes).
In the renewable energy sector, projects require significant investments and rely on the then current and expected market and regulatory environment. Any changes to this environment may cause these projects to fail and, thus, may trigger a dispute.
In post-merger disputes we see buyers suffering from their acquired businesses performing worse than expected and paid for. In these situations, some buyers will investigate possibilities to recoup some of the investment, including claims against the sellers for incomplete or false disclosures during the transaction.
What unique challenges are posed to an expert's valuation in post-M&A disputes?
In my opinion post-M&A disputes can provide unique challenges as they may require a broad range of expertise and experience, including in accounting, business modelling, valuation, due diligence, transactions, or industry-specific issues.
Also, establishing the facts of the case often requires an extensive analysis of significant volumes of information, including provided and created during the transaction, or generally available.
How does your experience in arbitration proceedings enhance your approach when advising on commercial litigation cases?
In my experience, the scope of work is much broader when working in arbitration proceedings, often including the finding of commercial facts and circumstances, or more closely interacting with counsel. Having a wider understanding of the process and procedures can help to phrase better questions therefore providing more relevant results in commercial litigation.
Also, some of the tools which are tried and tested in arbitration (e.g., data mining) can be introduced into commercial litigation based on a better understanding of their benefits and their applicability to legal questions.
What excites you most about the future of expert work, and why?
The most exciting elements of our work are the continuous personal development and the relationships we build.
No two cases are ever the same and, consequently, we are required to learn and adopt to new challenges almost every day. This continuous improvement of existing skills and the learning of new skills are a key aspect of my dedication to our profession.
Also, in every case we work with our internal team, our client, instructing counsel, and sometimes experts from other disciplines. The building and experience of a relationship with these teams and individuals, often from various countries and backgrounds, is another key element of my everyday joy.
How do you aim to develop your practice over the next five years?
We have just started to build our practice in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and I am much looking forward to growing our team in these countries and to support the development of our next generation of experts.