10 January 2018


I am delighted that this year it is my turn to reflect on Haberman Ilett’s successes and achievements over last 12 months.  As always, I am proud of the ever increasing volume and scale of challenging and interesting cases we are involved in and the growing skills and capabilities of our expanding team.  I am particularly proud this year of the variety of the activities we have engaged in around our work, from hosting and contributing to events tackling the important issues in our industry to raising thousands for charity.

In 2017 we expanded our case load by more than 34 projects, in sectors ranging from energy to infrastructure and from financial services to the public sector, and our partners gave evidence a total of twelve times during the year.  These achievements would not have been possible without the support and skill of the excellent forensic accountants working with us.

As well as continuing to be trusted by our clients, recognition of our involvement and contribution to the wider litigation and arbitration community also stepped up in 2017.  In May, I was so pleased to see Philip Haberman, our senior partner, being recognised for his extensive experience in arbitration and in dealing with arbitration practitioners by being appointed the only non-lawyer to the board of the LCIA.  I was also proud that my fellow partners and directors and I were noted as being leading Expert Witnesses in the Who’s Who Legal’s Arbitration listing, as well as being recognised as Consulting Experts in the Quantum of Damages listing for 2017 too.

As the Haberman Ilett team continues to grow, so do our contributions to the discussions and debates taking place in our industry and in those of our clients.  We presented at and hosted some great debates this year, including one with Serle Court Chambers in April and another in October as part of our ever-popular Haberman Ilett Women’s Network.  We contributed as panellists to other events, such as at the C5 Oil and gas conference in January, the SCL IT conference organised by One Essex Court Chambers in October and the ICC Annual Arbitration Forum in December.   We also delivered a considerable amount of training to both lawyers and barristers.  In September I was honoured to be among the leading female forensic accounting experts who provided training for lawyers in association with Arbitral Women.  The series of events showcased the strength and breadth of female accounting experts working in the field and will, I hope, not be the last of its kind.  Our five-a-side football team also had another successful year, facing teams from a number of leading law firms.  2018 promises to be another great year for our team, with two fixtures already scheduled and plans for a mini tournament in the pipeline!

The Haberman Ilett team grew again this year.  Not only did we promote internally (including promoting four associates to senior associate) but we also expanded our team by taking on ten new members of staff.  We continue to pride ourselves on offering a flexible working environment, supporting those who fit their careers around busy lives outside of the office.

And finally this year we raised £7,000 for our charity partner the Ian Hutcheon Clinic for Children (IHCC).  Knowing that the money will make such a difference to children in developing countries affected by hearing loss is heart-warming, particularly as the charity is linked to one of our senior associates.  We look forward to supporting our 2018 charity partner, the David Hoyle Foundation, a recently launched charity that supports education and conservation both in the UK and Cameroon.

Striking the balance between providing opportunities for our ambitious team to learn and be stretched professionally and the capacity for them to input their ideas and skills to the development of our industry as a whole is an important objective of our firm.  I look forward to witnessing the continuing positive impact of the group this coming year and long into the future.

By Vikki Wall, partner