Paul is a valuation expert with 25 years of experience in the valuation of companies and shares, across a wide range of industries and countries. Prior to specialising in forensic work, Paul had a successful career in financial markets where he held senior positions in equity research and corporate finance at several top-tier investment banks in London.
Can you tell us briefly about your career and background to date?
I studied economics at Cambridge before qualifying as a chartered accountant in the corporate finance department of one of the Big Four accountancy firms. Over the next 15 years I worked for several investment banks in London as an equity research analyst. This involved advising professional investment managers on the valuations of companies and shares, predominantly in the natural resources and industrial sectors.
I then joined a company where I valued companies and intangible assets, such as brands, and expanded my sector experience considerably, gaining experience across consumer goods, travel and tourism, finance, technology and healthcare. One of my projects even involved the valuation of fine wine!
It was there that I first started performing valuations in the context of dispute resolution, gaining experience on several cases. In my first appointment as expert, I valued a company in the healthcare and beauty industry for a case before the High Court of Singapore. After some encouraging client feedback, I realised that my on the ground, commercial experience afforded me an advantage over many other forensic valuation experts. I had also spent many hundreds of hours in front of hedge fund managers around the world, justifying my conclusions on company valuations and explaining my approach. I had developed a confident and balanced style which I felt would transfer well into the court room. As a result, I decided to focus my practice entirely on dispute resolution.
What do you enjoy most about your work as an independent expert witness?
I enjoy the challenge of being able to explain complex issues in a clear and concise manner and the opportunity to combine my interest in valuation theory with my past commercial experience. I’ve also enjoyed my time on the witness stand so far, and feedback from my clients has been extremely positive. Sometimes I think an expert’s preparation for cross examination is a bit like a boxer’s preparation for a big fight – you must have put the hours of hard work in beforehand and be assured under pressure on the big day. (I was once an amateur boxer whose opponents included someone who is now a senior cabinet minister!)
Can you describe the type of disputes that you typically work on?
I typically work on disputes involving the valuations of companies, shares and projects. The background to each valuation varies considerably. For example, I recently acted as the expert for the defendant in a claim for unfair prejudice concerning the valuation of a minority shareholding in a company in the financial technology industry. One of the key differences between the experts in that dispute was the appropriate size of minority discount applicable to plaintiffs’ shareholdings.
In what way do you think Haberman Ilett distinguishes itself from its competition in the market?
Haberman Ilett offers a truly independent service and I think it has some of the most experienced and ‘user friendly’ experts in the accountancy industry. However, I believe the key distinguishing factor is the collaborative attitude across its partners and other staff who work together as a team.
To contact Paul and to read what clients say about him, please click here.