Bruno Augustin

Title: Partner

Office: City Tower, 40 Basinghall Street, London. EC2V 5DE

Tel: +44 (0)20 3096 6663

Email:  ba@hiforensic.com

   
Bruno has been working as a forensic accountant for over 20 years during which time he has received a number of expert appointments and worked on over 60 cases covering a wide range of sectors, forums and jurisdictions.

Bruno specialises in providing financial analysis and damages quantification services to clients involved in a variety of disputes, including competition law, procurement, financial services disputes, insurance claims, breach of warranty, regulatory breaches, transaction disputes and professional negligence.  He has worked on disputes in a number of different forums, including the UK High Court, international arbitration (e.g. ICC, UNCITRAL), expert determination, and specialist competition tribunals (e.g. UK Competition Appeal Tribunal).

Bruno has a wide range of experience advising clients on the quantification of losses and analysis of financial evidence in a number of commercial disputes before the UK Courts, International Arbitration, and other specialist Tribunals.  He has been appointed as an expert witness in his own right on a number of occasions, and has helped other experts prepare for cross-examination in disputes involving sectors as varied as defence, retail, sportswear and construction, Bruno has also led a team of forensic accountants in reviewing claims for consequential losses suffered as a result of the alleged mis-sale of a financial product.

Bruno is interested in regulatory and civil disputes involving competition law.  His involvement in this area includes drafting expert reports in support or defence of follow-on damages claims before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court, and appeals against regulator decisions which have been submitted to the UK Competition regulators and the European Commission.  This has included diverse sectors such as transport, telecoms, media, dairy production, retail and energy.

In addition, Bruno has extensive experience of advising clients on transaction disputes, acting either as advisor to one of the parties involved in the dispute, or as part of the independent expert’s team adjudicating the dispute.  One of his appointments was as an expert witness on behalf of one party to a completion accounts dispute before an arbitrator in the US, while another was as an expert adjudicator before an oral hearing in the Middle East.  He also has experience of defending actions for damages in professional negligence claims.

Bruno has Bachelor’s degrees in English and Law, and also a Master’s degree in Law.  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1991 and as a solicitor at law in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Bruno has a particular interest in antitrust/competition law issues and has written several articles on competition issues for legal journals.  He was one of only two accountants to contribute to the Brick Court Chambers publication, Competition Litigation. He is also a regular speaker on the topic.

I dabbled with some forensic work while qualifying as a chartered accountant with a small London firm, and decided to have a more concerted go after qualifying as a solicitor, primarily because it looked like one of the few jobs where I could combine my interests in both law and accountancy.  I had an offer to work as a corporation tax lawyer, but decided to go down the forensic accounting route instead, and have never looked back since!
The novelty you find in every case you work on – there are always new considerations and challenges you hadn’t encountered in any case you’ve been involved in before.  It’s all about applying your expertise and experience as best you can to the facts of each particular case, in as simple and convincing a way possible.  Also, the diversity of sectors I’ve worked on has been fascinating – for example agriculture, defence, telecoms, transport, utilities, life sciences, retail products, financial services – each presenting their own unique features to take account of.
Helping asylum seekers articulate their claims as best they can – challenging and rewarding at the same time.
The fact that litigation in these cases (at least this side of the Atlantic) is still a relatively new area where there are common methodologies still to be agreed on, and precedents still to be set.  Competition issues are often at the cutting edge in matters of domestic and international trade, and the dos and don’ts can still be uncertain for many businesses.  It is exciting to have been involved in several significant cases litigating this area of law in the UK and the EU.
Be inquisitive, consult and keep an open mind – don’t accept every assumption at face value. Make sure that your conclusions are robust – you can be sure that this is one field in accountancy where they will be more thoroughly scrutinised than any other!  Above all, maintain your independence, and be brave to back your own honest opinion, in the confidence that it has been arrived at after full and careful consideration.
I try (without much success) to get my young son interested in football, in particular Chelsea FC.