Liz has been working in the forensic accounting field for 16 years and has acted as the accounting expert herself or supported the expert in over 60 cases, including contractual disputes, investment treaty arbitrations, claims for breach of warranty, expert determinations and other disputes arising out of transactions, accounting irregularities, competition matters and valuations.
Prior to specialising in dispute work, she had broad accounting experience including accounts preparation, audit, personal and corporate tax and royalty investigations in the entertainment industry.
Liz has extensive experience in advising clients on the financial aspects and quantification of loss in commercial and contractual disputes before the English Courts and LCIA, ICC and Uncitral tribunals. Liz also has experience of valuing loss in bi-lateral investment treaty claims under ICSID and has valued companies or projects in other disputes. She has been appointed as the quantum expert in claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty and tortious acts and has been appointed as the Tribunal expert to quantify loss in an ICC arbitration.
She has worked on expert witness assignments covering diverse industries, with particular experience in the electricity, hotel, pharmaceutical and music sectors. She has been involved in all aspects of the dispute process, including giving initial pre-action advice, preparing expert witness reports, rebuttal reports, joint statements of the experts, and testifying in hearings.
Liz has experience advising clients on pricing mechanisms and completion accounts policies in draft sale and purchase agreements and has been involved with a number of post-acquisition disputes, including being appointed as the expert to determine a completion accounts dispute in the UK defence sector and leading the team acting for the buyer in a purchase price dispute between two companies in the music industry.
Liz also spent a year project managing a sales and marketing compliance review for a global pharmaceutical company. She co-ordinated teams in 50 countries, assisted team leaders in preparing for site visits, liaised with the project steering committee to ensure quick resolution of issues and prepared summary reports for the client’s compliance committee and project sponsor.
Liz has a law degree and post graduate diploma in legal practice from Sheffield University. She qualified as a chartered accountant and started specialising in forensic accounting in 2000 when she joined one of the Big Four accountancy firms. She left in July 2013 to launch Haberman Ilett.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
I had wanted to be a lawyer since I was about 15, so I did a law degree and continued on to Law School to do my LPC, with a view to becoming a solicitor. While I was there I found that the only course I really enjoyed was Tax Law, as I loved the numbers! So on completing the course I moved into accountancy, initially working in a small practice specialising in the entertainment industry, while qualifying as a chartered accountant.
It was actually suggested to me by a recruiter who had seen my CV and thought that with my accountancy qualification plus legal background, it would be a good fit for me. It turned out that he was correct!
My son. He surprises and delights me on a daily basis.
I enjoy the variety of the work and the intellectual challenge. Working on disputes has required me to understand a range of industries, companies and markets, from milk production and nuclear fuel storage in the UK, to potash and iron ore extraction in the CIS and health insurance and electricity distribution in Eastern Europe. It also requires a combination of skills, including analysis and interpretation of data, report writing and explanation of technical ideas in an easily comprehensible way.
I joined Haberman Ilett with the ambition to make partner and be appointed as an expert in my own name. I am delighted that I have achieved these long term career ambitions and have had the opportunity to testify before an LCIA tribunal. My goal is now to get more appointments as an expert witness in my own name and one day to become as well-known and respected as our senior partners are!
I think you have to work out what is important to you and then find the working arrangement and childcare that fits with your priorities. For me, that means working reduced hours and working flexibly, so that I can do the school run at least twice a week. I also believe that being a parent should not hold you back from your career dreams, although it may mean you take a bit longer to achieve them.