FTI Consulting adds forensic expert Daniel Turner to Dubai team

13 November 2017 Authored by Consultancy-me.com

Following an active period of global expansion, FTI Consulting has recruited a forensic accountant in the Middle East. Daniel Turner has joined the firm as a Managing Director in its forensic and litigation consulting practice in Dubai, adding to its capabilities in complex financial investigations and commercial disputes in the Gulf region.

FTI Consulting first entered the Middle Eastern market in 2005 by establishing its construction solutions practice, before further expanding in the UAE in 2008 by launching its strategic communications practice. That same year, FTI Consulting acquired construction and engineering company Brewer Consulting in a move to broaden its global portfolio and increase its presence in the UAE. Since then, its UAE practice has continued to grow, to include construction solutions, strategic communications and a forensic accounting expert witness offering – which due to growing demand in the region, has particularly been the focus of expansion over 2017.

In the Summer, Yaser Dajani, a specialist in the management of complex, cross-border transactional and non-transactional business intelligence assignments arrived at FTI from Kroll Middle East, where he had been Managing Director of the consultancy’s Dubai office, overseeing the expansion of Kroll’s forensic investigation and business intelligence unit.

Since then, Dajani has been joined by another former Kroll member, in the form of fellow forensic expert Daniel Turner. Turner joins from the risk consulting firm, where he worked as an Associate Managing Director, having been a Director of forensic services at Big Four professional services firm PwC, and also held a number of positions at BDO, where he practiced for over 10 years.

Daniel Turner, Managing Director, FTI Consulting

In his line of work, Turner has advised clients on financial investigations and commercial disputes. He also specialises in using business intelligence and computer forensics in the acquisition, identification and the securing of evidence.

Yaser Dajani, now a Senior Managing Director of FTI in Dubai, said in a statement, “The complex business environment in the Middle East, together with the multi-faceted legal and regulatory environment, has many implications for businesses in the region.” He added, “Daniel’s depth of expertise, together with his commercial and industry awareness, will help us support our clients and enable them to navigate this difficult and rapidly evolving landscape.”

Changes afoot

By hiring Turner, the firm has strengthened its hand in the region further, with the hope of capitalising on the growing number of disputes in the oil and gas, construction and financial services industries of the area, while adding another expert to position the firm well for compliance with new laws around advice and arbitration.  In 2016, the UAE introduced controversial amendments to its penal code, which among the changes, placed potential criminal sanctions on experts and arbitrators if they were found to have demonstrated bias of any variety, sparking concerns from national and international arbitrators working in the region.

According to Daniel Turner, while the amendments continue to affect instructions for some, FTI has not been stung, as the deliverables they provide always maintain a high standard of independence. However, Turner added, “to mitigate any potential exposure, as with all of our engagements, we perform a thorough assessment of the relevant parties and their advisers in relation to the matter at hand to allow us to determine if we will accept instructions. We also maintain a close channel of communication with the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction to keep abreast of any updates and guidance”.

The forensics practice has been in operation for just over four months and is already serving both existing clients of FTI Consulting, as well as new clients, addressing new opportunities within both the UAE and the wider Middle Eastern region. Addressing speculation as to whether the firm will expand into neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which itself has ambitions of enjoying the same status as a conduit jurisdiction than that of the Dubai International Financial Centre, Turner suggested that FTI are still weighing up their options, stating, “Based on the demands of our clients and the market, we will monitor if further expansion is required in this Emirate.”

Elsewhere in the global market, FTI expanded its forensic litigation operation into South Africa in the spring of 2017. The new division means that FTI South Africa now offers three of the firm’s main expertise areas in the region.