Providing valuable support

Our extensive experience enables us to provide valued support when it’s needed, whether you are contemplating or planning an M&A transaction, are involved in a financial dispute, face a regulatory enquiry or investigation, require a business valuation or have suspicions of fraud. We can help you plan and prepare preemptively to allow you to mitigate potential issues before they arise.

How can we help?

Commercial Disputes

During the course of business, you may find yourself involved in a commercial dispute, despite your best efforts to mitigate your risk.  This could expose you to both financial and non-financial issues such as reputational damage, regulatory breaches, breakdowns of supply chain relationships as well as requiring significant management and employee time.

When it comes to quantification of the financial cost, we can assist as Adviser, Expert, Expert Witness or Single Joint Expert to Claimants and Defendants both before and during the dispute process.  We have wide experience of dealing with a variety of commercial claims and disputes, including loss of profits or earnings, business interruption claims, compulsory purchase order and blight claims, professional negligence claims, product liability claims, competition matters, contractual breach, intellectual property, fee disputes, commercial agency and defamation matters.  We prepare structured and properly reasoned independent reports with clear and transparent opinions.  We also have over 30 years’ experience in giving evidence to Courts and Arbitral tribunals as well as representing clients in mediations and other ADR processes.

M&A Transaction issues

Undertaking M&A is often an all-consuming but rewarding process with all parties working hard to achieve a successful deal.  However, the process often doesn’t stop at completion with many deals containing elements of deferred and/or contingent consideration.  Unless properly prepared, issues which may not have seemed important in getting the deal done may now come to the fore and potentially cause disputes in a previously amicable deal.

Undertaking appropriate due diligence is considered a pre-requisite for proper risk management before entering in to a major transaction to buy, sell, merge or invest.  Working closely with our corporate finance, tax and financial planning colleagues we assist in identifying, understanding and managing the risks associated with the transaction.

In order to reduce the risk of disputes arising from transactions, we also assist preemptively by ‘road testing’ the contractual mechanisms within the sale agreements to check whether they achieve our clients’ desired outcomes, either working alongside our corporate finance colleagues or directly with deal participants and their legal teams. When issues arise in transactions we have more than 50 years’ experience in advising on and dealing with post-acquisition disputes across a very wide spectrum of business types, sizes and sectors.  Such disputes have included completion accounts, so called ‘locked-box’ leakage claims, earn-outs, share ratchets and warranty claims where we have acted variously as advisor, advocate and expert determiner.

Valuations

For most businesses, there will be a point in time when the owners will want to understand the value of a business, company, or shareholding therein.  This might typically be for M&A activity, but there are often other reasons why such a valuation is required, such as pursuant to the requirements of articles of association or shareholder agreements, share buy-backs or for use in legal proceedings.  We prepare valuations as Adviser or Expert, including as Expert Witness or Single Joint Expert both in contentious and non-contentious circumstances.

Private client

We also prepare valuations and undertake investigatory and confirmatory analysis for use in probate and estate issues, matrimonial and other family court matters and in succession planning.  We also act in criminal matters dealing with both substantive financial issues and with derivative actions such as confiscation proceedings. We understand and are happy to work to the requirements of the criminal and family courts and of the Court of Protection.

Financial and regulatory risk & investigations

In business, some degree of risk is unavoidable.  However, there may be occasions where something is not quite right, where the risk is too great to ignore, or where you need to mitigate and remediate as soon as possible. We are here to help. We can assist preemptively and proactively with financial risk management, fraud awareness, financial investigation, counter crime and fraud (including internal and corporate fraud) and regulatory oversight.

If issues have already arisen we can undertake and/or support in investigating allegations or suspicions of fraud, misfeasance, regulatory or professional conduct rule breaches. We work with insolvency colleagues and third parties in tracing and recovering assets, both domestically and from overseas.

We have particular experience and expertise in the investigation and defence of financial regulatory and professional conduct matters, including matters brought variously by the FRP, the FCA, the OFT and other industry and professional regulators.  Our team has experience of working for and with such regulators and brings the insight gained to our work.

Why us?

We are a highly experienced, team with widespread experience gained within some of the world’s largest professional practices.  We pride ourselves on our quality and integrity, providing clients with an honest and straightforward view whilst remaining commercially aware. As an independent firm, you will receive personalised, local service with limited “Big Firm” problems such as regulatory and conflict issues.

We are a member of NIFA (the national Network of Independent Forensic Accountants), whose membership consists of independent accountancy practices throughout the UK who specialise in forensic accountancy and litigation support. Our membership of NIFA safeguards you as it sets quality standards and monitors members by an annual review of each firm’s working files. Tony Chapman is an ADR.net accredited mediator and Philip Allsop is a member of the Expert Witness Institute (EWI) and is a panel member for the ICAEW President’s Appointment Scheme. BHP are also members of the Compulsory Purchase Association.

To discuss how our expert risk & forensic accounting team could assist, either in general terms or in relation to a particular case, please call Tony Chapman on 0113 887 0070 or Philip Allsop on 0114 266 7171.

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