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The case was brought by an oil promoter/prospector with operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Plaintiff alleged that an investment bank had inappropriately shared information about its activities which led to its oil and gas project being developed by another party.

NERA was retained by the investment bank to address issues relating to the quantification of damages from the alleged lost opportunity to develop the project. The NERA team, led by Senior Vice President Mark Berenblut, included experts in the areas of oil and gas exploration, business valuation, and economic damage quantification. Economic issues addressed included the ability of the plaintiffs to obtain financing to develop the project but for the alleged actions of the investment bank, and valuation issues relating to oil and gas properties and reserves such as appropriate comparables and the choice of discount rates for reserve cash flow forecasts.

Mr. Berenblut provided an expert report and deposition testimony. A motion to exclude the testimony of the Plaintiff's expert was granted. The order confirmed NERA's finding that the Plaintiff's expert's assumption as to the discount rate of 10% does not take into account specific facts of the case. It is not reasonably related to the facts at issue and leaves too wide an analytical gap to be useful to the jury. The case settled prior to trial for a relatively nominal amount with no admission of liability.