A selection of previous work
WE HAVE WORKED WITH SEVERAL FIRMS INCLUDING:
A selection of our recent public work (click to expand):
Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc (Rev 1)  EWHC 3463 (Comm)
Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc. centered on a complex dispute over product classification. Related issues included those of trade life-cycle, risk and valuation of complex derivatives, private and investment banking and prime-brokerage.
Acumen deployed its largest team yet of eleven consultants to tackle this broad scope of issues. The case required close examination of virtually every aspect of the derivative product’s life-cycle, with close attention to concurrent internal processes of the Bank for context. Acumen were engaged by Travers Smith throughout the case, for a duration of 2 years.
Acumen’s Role in Outline
Product Valuation and Quantitative Modelling
- Our expert constructed accurate models which valued complex FX options products.
- Inconsistencies in existing models were highlighted and put to the court for analysis.
- Acumen explained both model and exotic derivative products to legal client and to Court.
Mass Document & Mail Management
- Responsible for document analysis and storage following a heavy disclosure.
- Converted unsorted mass data into an organised and streamlined appendix of all relevant communications with relevance to the executed trades.
- Ensured strict adherence to deadlines and quality control.
- Co-ordination of stakeholders including investment banks, private investigators, legal team and consultants.
- Provided in-depth and objective analysis of the data amassed of valuations, cash flows and trade terms, listing all sources and engagements with experts.
- Briefed Counsel on counter-expert report, examination of key points.
- Expert Witness including in Court Testimony
- Our expert provided quality testimony which was heavily relied on in court, by both sides.
- Analysed execution process for option embedded trades: confirmed manner of execution.
- Examined trade matching, reviewed alignment betweenclient orders and final execution.
- Identified early trade terminations resulting from a Prescribed Event.
- Examined pre-maturely terminated trades alongside their terms and requirements of ISDA.
- Compiled 25 databases of top-tier bank trade and systems data numbering over 150 tables.
- Converted raw data into readable format fit for computer forensic analysis.
- Developed in-house tools for management, extraction and analysis of data received.
- Identified data breaks and provided analysis of why they had occurred.
- Ensured verification of trade terms in accordance with standard practice within market.
- Collated and mapped trade documentation trail from initial entry to booking and completion.
- Examined all confirmations, term-sheets, ISDA documents and master agreements.
- Forensic analysis of email and verbal communications.
Portfolio Trade Lists
- The bank could not initially produce client statements, so we reconstructed client portfolios from over 10,000 trades, generated detailed trade lists from raw data for all products.
- Organised portfolio by timeline of all trades with corresponding communications listing.
- Identified anomalies including data entry variance and missing trades.
- Identification of inconsistencies between databases, risk measurement outputs and reports.
- Analysed appropriateness of system for entry and booking of respective trades.
- Cashflow analysis of client portfolio and trades
Royal Bank of Scotland Plc v Highland Financial Partners Lp & Ors  EWHC 3119 (Comm)
This case concerned multiple claims between the parties over the collapse of a Collateralised Debt Obligation (CDO) after the financing bank had revoked its funding, with the result of a subsequent auction of the CDO’s assets.
Acumen were engaged by Cooke, Young and Keidan throughout the full lifecycle of two separate claims. We directed the disclosure process, resulting in the unveiling of key evidence which bore great impact on the scope of the case and on the weight of the evidence. We exercised our technical expertise in analysing the findings of the disclosure and compiled our findings into a comprehensive expert report. The expert we sourced was also called upon to give live testimony in Court.
Acumen’s role in Outline:
Product Valuation & Methodologies
- Assessed valuation methodologies for complex products, complete with comprehensive explanation of full market valuation marking trades on either:
- Mark to Market for the Trading book or Accruals for the Banking book.
- Explained both methodology within the context of the 2008 economic crisis and the appropriateness of Bids Wanted in Competition (BWICs) Auction.
Portfolio Trades Lists
- Analysis of the asset valuation for “distressed” portfolios and Bid Wanted in Competition (BWIC) Auctions.
- Reviewed internal transfer mechanisms, identifying critical procedural breaches by Bank.
Forensic Intelligence and Disclosure Advice
- Guided disclosure process: mapping out key bank systems and most likely sources of information with attention to communications.
- Uncovered spreadsheets which proved pivotal in the case.
- Cashflow analysis.
- Early trade terminations examined against terms and any prescribed events.
- Checked for ISDA compliance.
The Libyan Investment Authority v Goldman Sachs International  EWHC 2530 (Ch)
Our expert provided two expert reports and oral evidence on the valuation and reserving of derivatives within a modern investment bank.
Our expert’s view on the true profit of the trades was accepted by the court, despite it contradicting the audited reports of a top tier investment bank.
The solution we provided meant specialist consultants were engaged to build complex reserving tools against a challengingly short deadline. The compressed timetable for quant work allowed the expert to deliver detailed analysis of the figures provided by the bank, dissecting the bank’s profits calculations on a point by point basis.
Our disclosure specialists identified critical evidence from the disclosure. They then re-engineered the information, building our own reports from the evidence. The results further demonstrated that the bank’s position was certainly wrong, and that it was very likely that our expert’s opinion had been correct.
Our wider team supported the expert and provided insight during many stages of the case’s progression, including on the technical approach to the disclosure. Our input highlighted elements of the case that were previously misunderstood, despite the involvement of two other advisory firms prior to our engagement.
Acumen’s scalable model
We provided a team of four consultants to meet a challenging four month deadline. In this time we were able to complete the essential disclosure analysis, produce the complex bank reserving models and write the first report.
In our most rigorous reporting schedule to date, we sent daily billing updates to the law firm along with weekly sub-invoices to allow for full costs transparency and management.
Banco Santander Totta S.A. v Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa S.A.  EWHC 465 (Comm)
Acumen’s expert produced two expert reports and gave oral evidence in court. Our expert developed a bespoke set of risk tools to assist the court in their understanding of the capabilities available to a corporate treasurer without access to a bank’s tools.
Our expert was supported by a seasoned Quant, who assisted in the delivery of the analytical work required for the expert reports.
Acumen supplied Analysts and a Project Manager. The delegation of tasks allowed time for the expert to better explore the nuances and complex issues that arose during the litigation.
Acumen’s resources supported the expert by reviewing the substantial evidence released to the experts, highlighting key issues raised by the evidence.