Donny combines his legal and accounting background to apply Decision Analysis techniques to assist clients seeking to get a better understanding of their risk in a dispute. He led a team that pioneered the development of the service offering whilst a partner at HSF to a level described by clients as unparalleled, and the initiative was Highly Commended at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards in September 2019.
Decision Analysis supports clients to make better decisions in litigation or arbitration, by use of a bespoke decision tree model of the case. Each issue will be ascribed a set of probabilities (rather than one over-arching probability for the whole case), and each outcome will be valued, taking account of award value, costs, possible cost recoveries and present-value discounting.
Once the model is built, a financial dashboard can be compiled, together with sensitivity tests and visual aids, to help parties to get a better understanding of their litigation risk and to support them in their decision-making.
While it can be used in any situation where a decision needs to be taken amidst legal risk, its paradigm use case is in the settlement context. As such, Donny offers the service as part of a settlement counsel role to support one party, or as part of a mediator appointment for the benefit of all parties.
Representative use cases
Settlement decision-making: Built a 20,000-limb tree to support a listed engineering company decide whether or not to accept a nine-figure settlement offer in a highly complex insurance dispute
Negotiation advocacy: Provided a manufacturing client with materials to deploy in settlement negotiations in an M&A dispute
Case strategy / resource allocation: Supported a global consumer products company in case management decisions, including which issues of a case to prioritise and invest in
Decisions to commence proceedings: Helped a commercial real estate company decide whether or not to challenge a tax assessment
Stakes in litigation – sell or hold: Assisted a leading global investment bank in deciding whether to sell distressed debt in the secondary market or hold pending the outcome of litigation
Risk-sharing in litigation: Modelled a contingency fee arrangement to support alternative fee arrangement negotiations with a mining client
"The best thing I've seen so far for answering the question" about how to weigh the various factors – Managing Director (Legal), global consumer goods company
“I haven't heard of any other law firm doing anything like this” – Associate General Counsel, global banking group
"This should be mandatory on all new cases on which we instruct you" – Co-Head of Litigation, leading UK-based bank
"The decision tree method and visual outputs were very helpful in evaluating risks and settlement strategy at Board level … well worth the cost." – Chief Compliance Officer, listed European engineering group