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."
Mark Taylor is a Managing Director at Secretariat, based in London. Mark is an experienced damages / quantum financial and accounting expert witness in international arbitration and litigation with significant investigations experience. Mark has testified on many occasions in litigation and international arbitration in diverse jurisdictions and has experience from over 30 years across numerous sectors, having worked in this field since 1991. Mark has acted as an expert witness, expert advisor, and expert determiner on a broad range of disputes. Mark has acted as an expert in international arbitration proceedings brought under ICC, LMAA, UNCITRAL, SIAC, and ad hoc rules as well as in various Courts in the UK and the rest of the world.
What do you enjoy most about your work as a quantum expert?
The intellectual challenge at the outset of an engagement to develop a methodology for assessing damages for that specific scenario, given the available information. Crafting a report that explains complex and detailed analysis and concepts in a clear, concise and robust manner. Finally, working with teams of highly intelligent individuals including my own team, the instructing solicitors’ team and the bar team.
What are the most important tools at the disposal of litigation experts that can improve their testimony?
Intelligence – it goes without saying that an expert needs to be intelligent to understand the issues and develop sound and robust arguments. Experience – an expert relies on their experience and without experience they have nothing to help the tribunal. Humility and open mindedness – an expert must be able to hear and understand opposing views and consider these fully, acknowledging that they might be correct and valid. Honesty – is an absolute pre-requisite. Calmness under pressure – both in the box and in our day-to-day work we can come into pressurised situations and it is important in those situations to stay true to your views and not be swayed.
In what ways does Secretariat stand out from its competitors in the market?
Secretariat is a global firm that is primarily focused on expert witness work and so the main purpose of its existence is producing expert evidence in the form of reports and testimony, resulting in a top quality product. Secretariat has broad stable of world class experts around the globe, coupled with the outstanding teams supporting the experts that are intelligent, hard working and experienced, trained in dispute resolution and expert witness matters.
Which skills are needed to successfully collaborate with lawyers, experts and authorities across different jurisdictions in complex litigation proceedings?
An open mind such that the expert can properly listen to and fully understand the positions of others, particularly from different disciplines. A questioning mind to explore the views and instructions of others to make sure that there are no misunderstandings or any confusion. A clear and concise manner of communicating, appreciating the other party may not understand your technical concepts or language.
What is the greatest challenge currently facing quantum experts?
The greatest challenge facing experts is taking the step from a senior lead-assistant to a testifying expert. Instructing solicitors understandably seek experienced testifiers and as a result many talented individuals are hindered in becoming a testifying expert. Another challenge facing experienced testifying experts is time; an expert needs to be intimately involved in the case and finding time to dedicate to the case can be challenging. This is heightened by court deadlines and the not-unusual scenario that the expert is instructed too late. Some instructing solicitors provide experts with narrow issues, not explaining the whole dispute and all the issues, risking the Expert’s opinion not taking a pertinent matter into consideration.
What excites you most about the future of expert witness practice?
I am most excited about developing and supporting the next generation of experts. I am dedicated to working with up-and-coming team members to help develop all the skills they need to take instructions in their own name and to help them testify for the first time. I am also excited that the next generation is truly representative of our diverse society and that we are moving towards equal representation of experts, moving away from the current white male dominated cohort.
If you could change one thing about expert testimony in litigation proceedings, what would it be and why?
I do not believe that the court is best served by experts having to rely on their memory when in the witness box. There is a significant risk that matters that should be brought to the judge’s attention are missed due to the expert not remembering then during their testimony.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Do not enter into a debate with your cross examiner, but instead answer their questions to the judge.