Thursday, September 18, 2014
IWIRC HK - The Fifth Annual Great Debate
On 18 September 2014, over 100 restructuring professionals gathered for the fifth annual IWIRC Great Debate to hear two robust teams debate the topic:
‘Lawyers add more value to a restructuring than accountants’
Moderated by Jamie Stranger of Stephenson Harwood, a strong team compromised of Marie Rowbotham (PwC), Patrick Cowley (KPMG) and Sarah Knapton (King & Wood Mallesons), debating against the motion, claimed victory over their opponents for the affirmative, Fraser Hern (Walkers), Chris Page (HSBC) and Damien Coles (Hogan Lovells).
Both teams argued passionately for their cause with war stories, creative use of images and analogies: lawyers being equated to F1 drivers and the accountants the mechanics; lawyers being princes and princesses sitting in ivory towers and the accountants being on the ground, on site, getting stuck-in and making things actually happen.
Each side acknowledged that both professions add value to a restructuring, however in debating which profession added more value, lighthearted jousting focused on a number of stereotypical (but true!) attributes of each profession: why do lawyers have an unnatural love of colour-coded, paginated bundles of paper, legalise and Latin phrases and what is it with accountants and Microsoft Excel? Ultimately, however, after raucous voting by cheers and clapping, the (mostly) accountant team won the grudge match.
The fifth annual Great Debate was kindly hosted by Stephenson Harwood and co-sponsored by Stephenson Harwood and Walkers