GIR 100 2020

Accuracy

Professional notice

Rapid expansion and innovation have boosted Accuracy’s profile in recent years, and have helped the firm secure its first entry in the GIR 100 in 2020.

The firm

Accuracy was founded by former partners at defunct consultancy firm Arthur Andersen in Paris in 2004 as a financial advisory service. Since then, the firm has opened several other offices across Europe and Asia. While its investigations practice initially grew organically, it has recently expanded by bringing in various cross-disciplinary professionals with forensics, economics, technology and law enforcement experience.

Accuracy’s founding members include Christophe Schmit, Jean-Baptiste de Courcel and Frédéric Loeper, who are all based in the French capital. Schmit, head of the forensics litigation and arbitration practice, acts for companies across Europe in fraud and foreign bribery investigations and more. Loeper and de Courcel, too, lead investigations into allegations of corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement. All three also have experience in antitrust cases.

De Courcel specialises in cross-border investigations into corruption, fraud and trade matters such as antitrust, including an investigation into a healthcare company over financial irregularities related to contracts under the Iraq oil for food programme. He is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations as a future leader.

In September 2019, Accuracy strengthened its Paris base with Morgan Heavener who joined as a partner from Paul Hastings, where he was of counsel in Washington, DC. While there, he represented numerous companies facing investigations by government agencies, including the US Justice Department, the UK Serious Fraud Office and the Paris Prosecutor’s Office. Now, he advises companies and law firms Accuracy works with in a non-legal role.

Accuracy has several professionals with prior government experience in its ranks, including Rae Lawrie and Rick Barker in Dubai.

Barker served in the computer crime squad of the Victoria Police Force in Australia before entering private practice. At Accuracy, he is responsible for the firm’s forensic technology services from his base. He has previously led the forensic investigation into a Dieselgate-related matter. Lawrie joined the firm in February from Deloitte. He spent 10 years as a senior financial investigator at the SFO from 1994 to 2004, where he investigated the Bank of Credit and Commerce International affair, at the time one of the largest-ever bank fraud cases.

In London, Accuracy has another former government investigator in Robert Weston. He spent five years in the UK police where he ran data-analytics operations and coordinated with international law enforcement agencies like the FBI. He is joined in London by Roula Harfouche who has two decades of experience conducting investigations into matters including fraud and market manipulation.

Accuracy’s office in Milan is home to Giovanni Foti, who has 28 years of experience conducting investigations and helped launch the office in 2009. Principal Silvia Baroffio focuses on compliance risk management and financial consulting. Laura Gavazzi specialises in fraud prevention and investigations and has supported clients and state authorities in identifying mismanagement and misconduct. All three are fluent in English.

In Singapore, David Thornes has spearheaded the development of the office since 2016. He has worked on fraud and corruption investigations across Asia and previously reviewed allegations of fraud in Thailand by a French company.

As well as its broad expertise, Accuracy prides itself on its use of innovative technology, particularly its Relativity e-discovery application, Accuracy Forensic View, which the firm says allows users to quickly view whether individuals within a business have manipulated or deleted electronic data. The firm has made the application available for free to law enforcement and regulators to help streamline investigations.

Recent events

Accuracy handles engagements for multinational companies across the energy, oil and gas, telecoms, and healthcare industries, and more. It frequently partners with GIR 100-ranked law firms. Many of its assignments include cases where multiple government agencies are investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and embezzlement.

Accuracy is currently acting on behalf of a listed French industrial group to investigate alleged bribery in China by recently acquired subsidiaries in Germany and the US. The investigation stemmed from a whistleblower complaint. As part of the investigation, Accuracy mapped out financial flows within the company for the past 18 years.

The firm has also assisted a cybersecurity company in an internal investigation across Italy, the UK and Switzerland into suspicion of fraud by its management. Accuracy conducted detailed reviews of the company’s finances and electronic data for use in further court proceedings.

Network

Accuracy has offices in over a dozen countries across three continents. Its partners and employees speak more than 35 languages.

Clients

Accuracy provides services for a large number of notable French companies, including utilities company Veolia, supermarket chain Carrefour, electric equipment supplier Schneider Electric and luxury group Kering.

Track record  

Most of Accuracy’s engagements remain confidential. The firm has experience in supply chain-related fraud, FCPA, tax fraud and embezzlement cases, both in internal and government-facing investigations. It often acts on these types of engagements along with one or more of the GIR 30-ranked law firms.

About Accuracy

Accuracy is a wholly independent professional advisory firm that provides advice to company management and shareholders for their strategic or critical decisions, notably in transactions, investigations, disputes, and crises. We regularly provide services to leading international law firms and companies, including over fifty percent of France’s CAC40 companies.

Accuracy is one worldwide partnership with 18 offices in 13 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and North America. Our teams speak over 35 languages even while maintaining one company culture with shared values and principles, including upholding the strictest ethical standards and avoiding any conflicts of interest.

Accuracy’s Investigations and Forensic Services

Accuracy’s investigations and forensic services team brings together professionals with a wealth of backgrounds and competencies, including forensic accountants, finance professionals, corporate investigators, technologists and former government enforcement authorities and investigations attorneys. These diverse backgrounds allow Accuracy to take a cross-disciplinary approach to investigations and other risk-based services, including forensic accounting, due diligence, asset tracing, and compliance reviews.

The firm’s investigators have a deep understanding of business and finance, allowing them to find financial misconduct more easily than those with a more narrow training or focus on accounting. Further, Accuracy uses a combination of proprietary and innovative technological solutions as part of its investigations practice, recognizing that technology is also often critical in both assessing new allegations and resolving matters as quickly as possible.

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