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Neill Poole is a Senior Managing Director in Hong Kong, and has worked in Asia for over 16 years. He has accumulated extensive regional experience in dispute services, forensic accounting, and financial investigations. Prior to relocating to Asia from the United Kingdom, Neill trained as a Chartered Accountant on the audit team of a Big 4 accountancy practice and, soon after qualifying in 1988, specialized in forensic accounting.
Neill has been involved in a number of complex and high-profile dispute cases in the Asia region, and elsewhere, and has given expert accounting witness evidence on more than 20 occasions in tribunals in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Neil’s professional experience includes:
- Advising an international investment bank in relation to regulatory issues.
- Appointed as an expert witness in a HKIAC arbitration to address various accounting and valuation issues following the acquisition by a MNC of a group of companies in China.
- Advising an international hedge fund in relation to the valuation of companies in which it had invested for the purposes of challenging restructuring proposals proposed by the companies’ management.
- Appointed as an expert witness in an ICC arbitration in Korea to address the quantum of loss of profits claimed by a Korean subsidiary of a European multi-national industrial products company against a Korean company following an alleged breach of contract.
- Valued shares to be issued as consideration in a debt for equity swap as part of a restructuring of a Chinese coking coal trader listed in Hong Kong.
- Appointed by the special committee of a US-listed, Chinese online retailer set up to investigate allegations made by stock analysts in several research reports.
- Carried out an investigation into cash payments made by the Beijing branch of a MNC in the professional services industry at the request of one of its major clients to establish whether payments were for bona fide purposes and supported by genuine documentation.
- Investigation of allegations made by a whistleblower that senior management of a China-based subsidiary of a US listed company were defrauding the company through fictitious distributors, obtaining kick-backs from suppliers, and offering bribes to customers in breach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Appointed as an expert witness in a HKIAC arbitration to address the loss of profits claimed by a Hong Kong engineering company against an Indonesian subsidiary of an Australian listed company relating to a contract to refurbish and supply power plants.
- Investigation for new management of a Hong Kong listed manufacturing group following concerns expressed by the group’s auditors over transactions involving a South-East Asian group of companies and connected party transactions with two of the group’s directors.
- Investigated, on behalf of an investor, the management and finances of a group of Chinese companies in the infrastructure industry following the resignation of the group’s external auditor and suspicions of management malfeasance.
- Advised in relation to accounting issues discovered by the purchaser after completion of an acquisition of a Chinese group in the food products industry. Advised in relation to the impact on consideration paid, and value which potentially could be reclaimed in HKIAC arbitration proceedings.
- Appointed as an expert witness in Korean court proceedings relating to the fair value of a dissenting shareholder’s minority shareholding following a contested merger of a construction company.
- Appointed as an expert witness in Hong Kong court proceedings brought by the trustees in bankruptcy of a client of a brokerage company in relation to alleged unfair preferences and transactions at an undervalue.
- Investigation for the Hong Kong subsidiary of an international financial institution in relation to reports prepared by one of its analysts following his arrest by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and advice on the improvements needed to the company’s systems and controls over preparation of analysts’ reports.
- Instructed as an expert witness in a SIAC arbitration on behalf of the Chinese respondents to address various accounting issues, value two joint venture companies in the textiles industry, and opine on the quantum of loss of profits claimed by the respondent companies.
- Instructed as an expert accounting witness in proceedings relating to the quantum of a HK$1 billion professional negligence claim against consultant engineers following short-piling problems with a high-profile Hong Kong construction project.
- Instructed as an expert accounting witness on behalf of a private equity fund in two HKIAC arbitrations relating to disputes arising from the failure of a portfolio company to convert a convertible note into shares.