Richard Indge is a "big hitter" who has long-standing experience acting as an expert in complex valuation and damages litigation cases.
Richard Indge is a senior managing director at Ankura based in London, specialising in expert testimony on forensic accounting, valuation and quantum of damages for litigation, international arbitration, and investment treaty disputes. Richard has over 25 years of experience acting as an expert. The claims in which he is involved typically arise from commercial contractual disputes, investor-state disputes, and disputes arising out of accounting and financial irregularities, particularly in the energy, mining, construction, and financial services sectors.
How do you effectively prepare when testifying as an expert?
An essential part of preparing to give evidence is knowing my reports, including appendices, workings and the contents of exhibits in detail, and also reading and fully understanding the reports of the opposing expert. I also dedicate time to thinking through the questions I am most likely to face on cross-examination, and how I will present my answers in as concise and persuasive a way as possible. Identifying simple analogies that can be used to explain complex points is important. I also ensure that I read skeleton arguments and review documents that are put into disclosure late on, ahead of a hearing or trial. For me, the key is to clear the diary of distractions and allow sufficient time and space to think.
How has the market changed since you first started practising?
The shift from litigation to arbitration has been a major change, with a greater proportion of cases now reaching a hearing or trial than used to be the case. The quality of advocacy and cross-examination in international disputes has also improved considerably. Case sizes have grown too, and whilst cases are not necessarily more complex, clients and instructing solicitors increasingly seem to identify a wide range of issues for which very specific expertise and experience are needed. These can rarely be met by a single expert, so it has become much more the norm to have to work and integrate my evidence with experts from other disciplines.
How do you effectively coordinate on cases when working alongside other experts with other areas of expertise?
Firstly, it is essential to work with instructing lawyers to ensure that there is clarity on the respective areas of expertise and scope, but also to understand where there are legitimate overlaps in the evidence that may ultimately need to be given. Regular update calls with other experts (co-ordinated through the lawyers) are a great way for experts to share where their analysis and research is taking them, but also critically to understand the challenges and issues that are being encountered. In my experience, it is often the case that something arising from my own analysis, which is not key to my own evidence, will be of importance to the direction of work and conclusions of another expert.
What challenges do hybrid hearings present from an impartiality standpoint?
With properly managed, experienced and qualified experts, hybrid hearings should not really present new challenges from an impartiality standpoint. The expert reports should be unaffected by the nature of the hearing, procedural rules still apply, the expert’s duties remain unchanged, and an errant expert remains open to criticism and worse. Perhaps the testing of expert evidence remotely may be more challenging, but in my experience of hybrid hearings to date, counsel, arbitrators and judges have quickly and effectively adapted.
Do you have any tips for counsel on how to use an expert team effectively?
I think it is really important for counsel to engage an expert team early on, before the expert issues are fully framed. This helps not only to identify the strengths (and potential weaknesses) of a case, but also to frame the expert questions and understand the scope of the supporting evidence that is likely to be available. When the majority of the expert work is subsequently being undertaken, counsel should invest time up-front with the wider expert team, not just the expert, to ensure that the nuances of the case and the points that really matter are properly understood. Whilst the expert is ultimately responsible for the opinions and the giving of evidence, the team will be doing a significant proportion of the detailed work and analysis. Also, if counsel thinks he or she is not getting enough of the expert’s time and attention, they should make that known to the expert!
In which direction would you like to steer your practice over the next five years?
Having recently joined Ankura from one of the Big Four accounting firms, I am looking forward to experiencing fewer conflicts of interest, increasing the global nature of my practice and being involved in a wider variety of high-profile matters.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
In the context of giving expert evidence, preparation for the hearing or trial starts on day one of your engagement as an expert.