1 June 2017
As a senior associate with a unique combination of extensive disputes and valuation experience, along with specialist language skills in Ukrainian and Russian, Oleg is a key contributor to Haberman Ilett’s work across the CIS region.
Oleg joined Haberman Ilett in 2014, having previously qualified as a chartered accountant and gained over six years of experience in Big Four firms.
Why did you choose to specialise in dispute work?
“When I first started working in forensics, I had an opportunity to try a variety of different projects, but disputes work soon became a firm favourite, and having studied law at university, I saw the move into disputes as the natural next step. It is also an area with a strong international element, which I knew would allow me to make good use of my language skills and cultural knowledge. This has proved very true at Haberman Ilett – we continue to expand the volume and breadth of our work on cases across the CIS region at an ever increasing rate.”
What do you enjoy most about the work?
“Disputes are an incredibly stimulating area of work. No case is ever the same, and I love the intellectual challenge of it: matters that get to disputes are rarely straightforward, and knowing that everything you do will be tested by other experts and, ultimately, at trial, you always have to be at the top of your game. In the end, however, it is the people here at Haberman Ilett which make it such an enjoyable job. With such a diverse range of skills and experience, it is a fascinating group of people to work with, and I learn something new every day”.
What has been your most memorable case?
“I am fortunate to have been involved in over 15 litigations and arbitrations so far, but the most memorable remains one of my first cases, which was an oligarch dispute over steelworks in Ukraine. Our work involved quantifying damages resulting from various actions of the plant’s former management, ranging from taking unnecessary loans from connected banks to diverting profits from the enterprise by selling produce at undervalue to related party traders. Working closely with the legal team, we helped define and quantify numerous heads of claim based on the disclosed documents – of which there were 140,000! And just as we thought we were done, some more evidence turned up, which happened to be in a room in the middle of Lichtenstein – and had to stay there. So the next morning we were off to the Alps, where we spent a day in a room with some paper, a pencil, a dozen or so folders of documents in Russian and Ukrainian… and several men standing behind us to make sure everything stayed where it was.
In the end, our ability to work with local technical documents and extensive experience in damages quantification allowed us to support the legal team in producing a convincing Statement of Case, which, together with our expert report on quantum, paved the way to a settlement of the case to our client’s satisfaction.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“When away from the office, I love to travel and spend time outdoors. My favourite pastime is playing polo, which has all the joys of horse riding with an added bonus of teamwork and a competitive edge. When not on a horse, I can regularly be found hiking the British hills.”