The newsletter of GBRW Expert Witness
Trends in Expert Engagements
We regularly analyse trends in the areas on which we are approached for expert support. Paul Rex comments on the trends we have seen over the past three years.
Our analysis of the 150 or so approaches we receive each year shows some clear trends reflecting developments in the field of financial disputes. The graph above shows a breakdown under eight headings - from the bottom upwards:
Banking – general (4% in 2017 vs. 11% in 2015). This area includes issues such as cheque, payment and ATM frauds. It has historically included a high percentage of criminal cases and the decline almost certainly reflects a reduction in the provision of Legal Aid.
Commercial banking (15% vs. 23%). The largest elements under this heading are commercial property finance and trade finance. While trade finance is a growing area for us (see article below), many disputes over commercial property lending resulted from the 2008/09 financial crisis and have declined as limitation periods have expired.
Derivatives (22% vs. 9%). This is a fairly broad category which includes litigation over Interest rate Swap disputes which were settled under the FSA’s Redress Scheme IRS disputed as well as the fallout from the various LIBOR manipulation scandals. Note that the former category often overlaps with commercial property lending, since the increased “mark to market” exposures facing borrowers often led banks to reduce the debt facilities which they were prepared to provide.
Insurance broking (12% vs 13% (and Insurance underwriting (18% vs 15%) tend to remain at consistent levels from year to year, reflecting the perennial nature of disputes between insured parties, insurers and brokers. Insurance-related cases have made up around a third of our enquiries and engagements for the past several years.
Investment banking (6% vs. 5%) is a relatively specialised area where disputes tend to be very much “one-off” in nature.
Investment disputes (12% vs 16%) peaked in 2012, when they made up of 35% of our requests for expert support. That peak reflected the aftermath of the global financial crisis, but – like insurance – disputes over the performance of portfolios and of specific investments are perennial in nature.
Other (10% vs. 6%). By definition, it is hard to generalise about this category. Our engagements under this heading have included disputes over consulting contracts, immigration and extradition proceedings, the status of Krugerrands and the internal workings of ATM machines in a copyright dispute.