Of 80 lawyers interviewed from the UK’s top 30 law firms and FTSE 250 companies, around 60 rated personal reputation and individual experience of working with forensic accountants as the most important factors when choosing a forensic expert.
Report writing skills were also held in high regard by most lawyers polled. Writing skills are more important than court performance, reflecting an increased trend towards alternative dispute resolution, the survey reported.
Gerry Lagerberg, partner in PwC’s Disputes Analysis & Investigations practice, said: ‘This research highlights that most legal decision-makers in the UK are fully aware of the evolving and increasingly central role of forensic accountants in the process of dispute resolution.’
The Woolf reforms laid great emphasis on pre-court settlements and the court’s duty to actively manage cases including encouraging parties to co-operate and use alternative dispute resolution. These reforms have led to lawyers seeking forensic accountant’s skills earlier on in proceedings.