Despite all of the obvious disruptions, 2020 has proved to be another successful year for Haberman Ilett.  We started the year by welcoming a number of new colleagues, including Paul Cliff, a valuation specialist, who joined us as an associate partner.  March saw us grappling with the same issues as the rest of the country but, thanks to the efforts of our support team, the move to working from home was smooth and we were able to continue working without any disruptions.

This year saw our experts continue to be recognised by the industry.  Philip Haberman, was named the Arbitration Expert Witness of the Year at the 2020 Who’s Who Legal Awards for an impressive sixth time.  All of my partners were listed in Who’s Who Legal Consulting Experts 2020, as were six of our future leaders.  The year ended with Who’s Who Legal recognising eight experts, including all seven partners as leading expert witnesses in international arbitration, with four of us being recognised as Global Elite Thought Leaders in the EMEA region.  This recognition of the quality of our experts and the whole team supporting them, has not gone unnoticed by our competitors or the law firms who instruct us.

We worked on over 80 matters in 2020 and our experts gave oral evidence eleven times, in the year in which giving evidence virtually became the norm.  Our team continues to develop, with nine new members of staff and five internal promotions, plus three Haberman Ilett babies.  The impressive number of internal promotions is testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team, and it is this same team effort that led to us to be included in the top ten of the GAR 100 Expert Witness Firms’ Power Index for the third year in a row.

Our team has continued to contribute to the important discussions affecting our community, albeit virtually, talking at over ten panel discussions and training sessions and authoring a chapter for Arbitration of M&A Transactions.  Philip continues to serve on the Board of LICIA and, in December, finished six years as a Trustee of BIICL, with Liz Perks taking over the reins, and Vikki Wall continues to chair the ICAEW forensic and expert witness committee and also chaired their annual conference.

We have continued to support our nominated charity, Maggie’s, this year, as well as holding a clothes amnesty for Dress for Success and a Christmas Gift drive through the Kids Out’s Giving tree initiative which saw almost £6,000 of gifts being donated to children currently living in refuges.  We have enjoyed “seeing” our clients and friends at our various virtual events, the next best thing to meeting in person.  We hosted three events as part of our Women’s Network this year, including a festive bouquet making workshop in December which proved very popular, and in lieu of our usual football five a side games we held our first virtual beer tasting event.

2021 looks to be another exciting year for Haberman Ilett.  In December 2020, we joined Duff & Phelps and we look forward to getting to know our new colleagues over the next few months and taking advantage of the benefits that being part of such a well-respected global organisation will afford.  We are hopeful that 2021 will bring with it some normality and we look forward to meeting up with our clients, contacts, friends and each other in the near future.

We can be confident that, with the additional resources available to use within Duff & Phelps and the dispute market’s recognition of the quality of our firm, our firm will continue to grow this year and beyond.