Alvarez & Marsal
Alvarez & Marsal has continued to expand its global reach during the pandemic, opening new offices in Saudi Arabia, Greece and Singapore over the past two years.
Alvarez & Marsal’s disputes and investigations offering launched in the early 2000s as a result of its role in the restructuring of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Over the course of the work, founders Tony Alvarez and Bryan Marsal developed a close relationship with Arthur Andersen practitioners, some of whom joined the firm to pursue lines of business outside the restructuring sphere. Around the same time, the firm hired Bill Abington to officially launch its disputes and investigations practice.
In the UK, Daniel Barton is a managing director with more than 20 years’ experience in forensic accounting. He specialises in cross-border fraud, bribery and regulatory investigations, and is joined by Phil Beckett, who was named as the global head of the forensic technology services practice in 2021 and has particular expertise in analysing complex data sets and electronic disclosure. Beckett also leads the European and Middle East disputes and investigations practice.
Managing director Robert Grosvenor joined the firm in 2020, bringing over 20 years of experience advising on global and cross-border privacy and related data regulation requirements. He works alongside Julian Jones in the London office, who previously worked on the Lehman Brothers’ collapse.
Looking to the US, the firm identifies managing directors in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC as core members of its investigations practice. Leadership to the North America group is provided by DC-based former federal prosecutor Steve Spiegelhalter, who GIR named as one of the Top FCPA Practitioners
Spiegelhalter is one of eight Alvarez & Marsal individuals nominated in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations. Others include Matthew Bialecki and Robert DeCicco, who reside in Chicago and Los Angeles. Bialecki takes the reins of the East Coast practice. DeCicco specialises in forensics and incident response and previously worked at the National Security Agency.
Another professional with government experience is Bill Waldie. Formerly a special agent for the FBI, Waldie has over three decades of experience in white-collar crime, money laundering and corruption work. He also handles engagements focusing on misappropriation and embezzlement schemes.
One professional known for his attention to detail and communication skills is managing director James Daniell in the firm’s disputes and investigations practice in the Middle East. He has previously worked on recovering assets for the Central Bank of Afghanistan after a US$1 billion fraud. The firm’s forensic offering in the Middle East is reported to have vast experience in large-scale investigations in the region.
Other names to know in Asia are Hong Kong and China practice leader Keith Williamson and Davin Teo, who leads the Asia forensic technology practice. Also based in Hong Kong is Frankie Leung a leading expert in FCPA matters. They were recently joined by Benson Mak, who was appointed as a senior director in August. Mak is a cross-border forensics specialist who previously worked at Baker McKenzie.
Another 2022 hire was former EY forensic and integrity services director Kallia Gavela, who joined in February to lead the firm’s newly established office in Greece.
Notable departures include that of Sergio Moro, the judge who presided over Brazil’s Operation Car Wash bribery investigation. Moro left the firm after just 11 months in 2021 to enter politics, joining centre-right political party Podemos.
Most of Alvarez & Marsal’s recent work and clients are confidential, but the firm has advised businesses in various industries including financial services, healthcare, energy, retail, insurance, life sciences, and telecommunications.
The firm was reportedly hired in 2020 to conduct a forensic audit of Lebanon’s central bank to examine the causes of the country’s long-running financial crisis. The team from Alvarez & Marsal’s US team did not reportedly start work on the probe until June due to funding and information sharing delays.
With a foot still firmly planted in restructuring and insolvency, Alvarez & Marsal was appointed as administrator of health company NMC Health in London and Dubai in 2020. Once valued at some £8 billion, NMC collapsed after short-selling firm Muddy Waters Capital raised allegations of financial mismanagement. Alvarez & Marsal has reportedly said it is working on a strategy with legal counsel to recover losses likely to be in the billions of dollars.
Alvarez & Marsal’s disputes and investigations practice has over 500 professionals working in more than 35 offices across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its staff can speak at least 18 languages.
Alvarez & Marsal has acted for the administrator of Lehman Brothers, NMC Health and the Lebanese Central Bank.
The firm conducted an investigation into Greek luxury jewellery maker Folli Follie in 2018 that revealed the company had drastically overstated its revenue at its Asia-Pacific businesses. The investigation led to the resignation and eventual prosecution of the company’s chairman.
A team of over 200 Alvarez & Marsal professionals was brought in to support Bryan Marsal as chief restructuring officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings. The firm’s disputes and investigations experts undertook important work in forensic accounting, forensic technology and statistical analysis to help deliver improved returns for Lehman Brothers’ creditors.
Privately held since its founding in 1983, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) is a leading global professional services firm that provides advisory, business performance improvement and turnaround management services. With over 6,500 people across five continents, 32 countries and 70+ offices, A&M delivers tangible results for corporates, boards, private equity firms, law firms and government agencies facing complex challenges. The firm's senior leaders, and their teams, help organizations transform operations, catapult growth and accelerate results through decisive action. Comprised of experienced operators, world-class consultants, former regulators and industry authorities, A&M leverages its restructuring heritage to turn change into a strategic business asset, manage risk and unlock value at every stage of growth.
Disputes and Investigations
A&M’s Disputes and Investigations professionals draw on their expertise in investigations and compliance, forensic technology, cyber risk, litigation and economic consulting and expert testimony to provide clients with independent and highly qualified advice. The firm's experience provides it with a unique ability to articulate complex findings in a clear and meaningful manner. Its team is experienced in working with outside counsel, boards of directors, audit and special committees, fiduciaries (examiners, monitors, trustees, etc.) and with the management teams of public and privately held companies.
Investigations & Compliance
A&M’s investigations and compliance team comprises a diverse group of seasoned experts in major markets and financial centers throughout the world. The team includes former prosecutors, regulators, government accountants. The firm brings preeminent financial, accounting, economic, regulatory, industry, and technical experience to its clients. Its top-tier team of professionals have experience in business investigations, business intelligence, crisis management, litigation consulting, accounting irregularities, forensic technology, and expert testimony. The team articulates complex findings in a clear and meaningful manner, including in the context of regulatory investigations.
Working together with organizations’ in-house general counsel and external counsel, A&M offers full-scope investigation services, including electronic evidence collection and preservation, forensic data analytics, forensic analysis of accounting and other data, email review, fact-gathering and investigative interviews, targeted transaction testing, and other matter-specific, tailored investigative techniques. The team also specializes in analyzing a compliance departments function in real-time; identifying opportunities for timely remediation; and persuasively presenting findings to regulators and law enforcement.
To ensure efficient delivery, the firm uses advanced technology in every dispute or investigative matter. It offers bespoke forensic technology solutions to meet each client’s unique needs and business objectives. By integrating forensic technology into each of its matters, A&M delivers powerful insights while yielding direct cost savings for its clients. The firm combines its forensic expertise with industry-leading technology to design and execute auditable, repeatable, and defensible procedures.
A&M effectively uses technology to uncover and manage evidence and intelligence in contentious legal, regulatory and compliance situations. Its technology experts specialize in eDiscovery and eDisclosure management, digital forensics, forensic data analytics, cyber risk and incident response, and privacy and data compliance.
Global Cyber Risk Services
A&M’s global cyber risk services have been developed to assist boards and management teams in understanding their organization’s cyber risk, developing and implementing cyber resilience strategy and incident response readiness programs and providing effective cyber and forensic response when incidents do arise. The firm's methods are grounded in guidance from the regulatory and industry frameworks and best practices that govern their clients’ specific business. A&M helps the board of directors and top management to understand, evaluate and effectively manage cyber risks, to justify cyber security investments by the reduction of the related business risk below the company’s risk appetite.
A&M's global team of cybersecurity experts, strategically set up in specific locations around the world, provide prioritized findings, observations, recommendations and a roadmap for gap closure. The firm uses expertly developed methodologies, tools and techniques to identify vulnerabilities and design and implement programs to improve organizations’ overall cyber resilience.