Min Shi CFA
Oxera Consulting LLP
Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street
OX1 1JD, Oxford, England
Min Shi enjoys a formidable reputation among market commentators for her commercial litigation expertise, who recommend her “excellent analytical skills” and “ability to remain impervious to any attempts to undercut her evidence as an expert”.
Min is head of Oxera Consulting LLP’s commercial litigation and international arbitration practice. She is an expert in the fields of financial valuation and damages quantification. She has submitted more than 80 expert reports, and testified in courts in the UK, China, and Jersey, and in ICSID-, ICC-, LCIA-, SCAI- and UNCITRAL-administered arbitrations seated in London, Paris and Zurich. Min is the winner of the Client Choice Award for Arbitration Expert Witness in the UK in 2020 and 2022.
Min is also an associate fellow at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Min has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and B.A. in international economics from Beijing University.
What attracted you to a career as an expert in financial valuation and damages quantification?
What attracted me to a career as an expert in financial valuation and damages quantification is the opportunity to work on important and interesting questions that matter greatly to the clients, in a team setting with talented and dedicated team members. I also enjoy the fact that the work needs to be rigorous and able to stand up to the scrutiny of the opposing expert and legal team! This keeps me focused and sharp, and feeling energised.
What do you enjoy most about your role as a testifying expert?
The process of going through the intricate details of each case, thinking thoroughly about the various issues and potential counter points, and then identifying the most compelling and intuitive way to explain my position to the tribunal/court during cross examination in an accessible manner.
You have significant experience testifying before English and Chinese courts, as well as a number of international arbitration tribunals. What are the keys to delivering successful testimony before these bodies? What are the similarities and differences in each process?
The common aspects for a successful testimony across all forums are to (i) ensure you have a detailed understanding of the issues and adopt a hands-on approach to come up with the most robust answers and arguments; (ii) carefully prepare before the testimony and make sure to be familiar with all the analysis and have a good intuitive understanding of the findings; (iii) always think about how your approach and findings can be challenged, and be open minded with alternative approaches and interpretations; (iv) remind yourself that the expert’s role is to help the judge or the arbitrators, and focus on explaining the rationales for the assumptions you have made and the intuition of your conclusions; (v) be polite and humble and concise, and you will likely be more effective.
There are no major differences for delivering successful testimony across different forums, except for being aware of different processes required by different bodies (e.g. delivering an opening presentation, or ‘hot tubbing’) and factoring this into your hearing preparation and mindset.
As a member of Oxera's governing board, what are the goals for the firm's governance and development over the next five years?
Over the past four decades, we’ve grown in size, expanded across Europe and delved into new sectors. Over the next five years, we will continue to pursue our common purpose of using economics and finance to inspire better decisions by businesses and policy-makers, and to improve outcomes for society. We aspire to be the leading European economics and finance consultancy that businesses, policy-makers, regulators and law firms turn to with their high-profile and complex issues, and will look to expand our climate economics and data science practices.
What is the greatest challenge currently faced by financial valuation and damages experts?
The greatest challenge in my view relates to how best to combine the standard and commonly accepted tools/techniques used in valuation and quantum assessments with new tools and functionalities emerging through the fast developments made in AI and data science. This requires striking a good balance between relying on new methods that would make the expert’s work more efficiently, and ensuring the expert can explain and justify the use of such tools in a persuasive manner to a judge/tribunal that may not be familiar with them and may be less inclined to accepting them.
What excites you most about the future of quantum and valuations expert practice?
There are a lot of talented people interested in working as quantum and valuations experts, and at the same time, the legal industry and the clients are much more open to instructing a new and diverse set of experts. It’s exciting to see many initiatives that promote and support new and diverse experts especially when it comes to improving gender balance in this practice area.
If you could introduce one reform into how experts deliver testimony to courts and arbitration tribunals, what would it be and why?
Making it a normal part of the hearing process for the experts to make a presentation of their analysis and conclusion at the direct cross stage. This will help the court / tribunal to better understand each expert’s framework, assumptions, and conclusions at a high level, before the expert being subject to cross examination of the disputed parts of their work.