The newsletter of GBRW Expert Witness
Financial sector litigation – what does 2016 hold in store?
The global financial crisis in 2008 had an almost immediate impact on our business, with new enquiries more than tripling between 2007 and 2009. As we look ahead to 2016 after eight very busy years, we have been peering into our crystal ball to see what can be expected this year. Our conclusion is that the volume of litigation is unlikely to reduce in the short to medium term.
- Legal actions - both civil and criminal - relating to manipulation of interest and foreign exchange rates and other unfair trading practices are under way in a number of jurisdictions. While it can be difficult to quantify the impact of the actions of specific institutions - and indeed the actual losses suffered by borrowers and investors - there is no question that the amounts involved and the scale of manipulative activity will support continuing litigation over the next few years.
- Against this backdrop, the UK Financial Conduct Authority has acted to strengthen personal accountability of managers in the financial sector. Ian Gaskell of FMCR discusses the responses of regulators in an extremely timely article in this newsletter.
- While the Redress Scheme put in place by the FSA in 2012 dealt with many of the individual cases of interest rate swap mis-selling, there is still a continuing flow of cases involving bank customers who argue that they are entitled to higher compensation than that resulting from the application of the Scheme.
- 2012 also saw our peak level of expert instructions resulting from losses suffered by investors in the wake of the global financial crisis. Current price falls in emerging markets and commodities suggest high potential for significant losses – followed almost certainly by claims – in these and other sectors.
- The insurance market will continue to provide a regular flow of disputes between insured parties, brokers, underwriters and reinsurers. Many of these are settled at a relatively early stage through mediation or arbitration. We have seen strong interest in our fixed fee approach which provides an indication of an expert’s views at an early stage in the dispute process, often facilitating settlement negotiations.
- From a geographic perspective, we are seeing rapid growth in dispute resolution practices in the Far East (Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia) as well as in the Gulf (the Dubai International Financial Centre, with Abu Dhabi Global Market having opened in October last year).
In summary, life looks set to remain as busy in 2016 as in previous years and we look forward to working with existing and new clients both in the UK and internationally.
GBRW Expert Witness
Expert Witness Institute Asia representation
Martin Edwards, our Director, Asia, has also been appointed as the Representative - Asia for the Expert Witness Institute. Martin will act as a local point of contact for individuals based in the region who are current or potential experts and will promote the Institute’s capabilities with the relevant authorities and with local law firms.
The London-based Expert Witness Institute (http://www.ewi.org.uk) was launched 20 years ago to service and support experts. It acts as a voice for the expert witness community, supporting experts from all professional disciplines and lawyers who use their services. The Institute functions to encourage, train and educate experts and actively works with a wide range of professional bodies to achieve this. The EWI is a non-profit-making company limited by guarantee, is independent of outside commercial interests and is democratic, transparent and fully accountable to its members.
For EWI related matters, Martin can be contacted at Martin.Edwards@ewi.org.uk, tel. +65 9623 1657.