ISSUE 34 "Bank-Bashing" - Will the judiciary join the "bank-bashing" band wagon? Tuesday, November 08, 2016
If business-owners had consulted any reputable lawyer before the Financial Crisis claiming to have been the victims of a conspiracy on the part of their banks to drive them out of business, they would have been unlikely to have been taken seriously. If they alleged that a national firm of insolvency practitioners had conspired with the bank to secure their financial demise they would almost certainly have been dismissed as paranoid fantasists.
ISSUE 33 Cyber Fraud - A real risk or irrelevance Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Ask yourself this: From which disaster would your firm find it harder to recover, the loss of an office from flood/fire or the loss of its data.
ISSUE 32 "Nobbling" the witness Tuesday, November 17, 2015
According to the Oxford English Dictionary to “Nobble” is to “influence or thwart by underhand or unfair methods”, which was exactly what had been done to an expert witness according to Justice Wilson of the Ontario Superior Court in her judgment in the case of Moore v Getahun.
ISSUE 31 Auto-enrolment in Loss of Earnings Claims Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Those advising claimants in relation to claims for loss of earnings in personal injury, clinical negligence or other cases, should consider whether the Auto-enrolment provisions give rise to a new head of claim.
ISSUE 30 THE ‘QUASI-PARTNERSHIP’ QUESTION Monday, April 13, 2015
In the valuation of family businesses the quasi-partnership question and the issue of minority discounts can often be the most significant factor in terms of its financial effect.
ISSUE 29 Issue 29 - New Standards for Experts Friday, September 26, 2014
The Ministry of Justice is intent on issuing mandatory minimum standards for expert witnesses providing evidence in the family courts. It is likely that, having been adopted by the Family Court, similar standards will be issued to apply to other areas of litigation.
ISSUE 28 THE VALUATION OF BUSINESSES - BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR Thursday, November 28, 2013
Those instructing forensic accountants to value businesses should take particular care how to define the scope of their instructions in order to avoid situations where what is delivered is what was requested, but not what was wanted.
ISSUE 27 PICTURE YOUR FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT IN THE HOT TUB… Monday, December 10, 2012
It seems likely that the giving of concurrent evidence by expert witnesses, so-called ‘Hot-tubbing’, is likely to become ever more common, not least because the experience of the courts is that it saves considerable judicial time and, as the Ministry of Justice is all too keenly aware, time is money.
ISSUE 26 Convicted criminals live under the sword of Damocles Sunday, November 11, 2012
Undischarged confiscation orders last for life and cannot be expunged even by bankruptcy. It is now almost a decade since confiscation orders began being made against convicted criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The legislation provides that, inappropriate circumstances, the Court can make a confiscation order for the amount by which the defendant has benefited from his or her illegal activity. However,the amount payable by the defendant is limited to whatever assets he or she has available at the relevant date.
ISSUE 25 I WOULD HAVE MADE A FORTUNE... HONEST Monday, May 16, 2011
A recent judgment sheds light on the court’s attitude to the assessment of loss of earnings in circumstances in which the claimant was on the verge of setting up a business before the incident occurred that gave rise to the claim.
ISSUE 24 COURT THWARTS SNOOPING SPOUSES! Saturday, May 07, 2011
A recent Court of Appeal ruling has effectively abolished so-called "Hildebrand Rules" that allowed spouses to make use of illegally obtained information in divorce proceedings, subject to certain rules of disclosure.
CRIME SPECIAL NIFA CRIME NEWS Saturday, April 02, 2011
NIFA members have seen a significant increase in their instructions in crime related matters over the past twelve months. Prosecutions under The Fraud Act are now being heard in the Courts, and there appears to have been a surge in employee thefts, frauds, drug dealing and cigarette smuggling, as people try to supplement their income in these times of austerity.
CRIME SPECIAL Confiscation - Back to Basics? Saturday, April 02, 2011
The house of lords has recently pronounced on three important confiscation cases. To summarise in a sentence one could say:
'Establish the facts then apply the words of the statutes and the long established principles of English law to those facts.'
If you like, it is 'back to basics'.
There is considerable amount of useful details in these judgements.
CRIME SPECIAL Crime Work - Case Study Special Saturday, April 02, 2011
In this issue we will be covering a number of recent criminal prosecutions and confiscations in which NIFA members have acted as experts. You need a forensic accountant by your side to critically examine the evidence and challenge the inferences drawn from it by the other side where necessary. Someone who understands how court proceedings operate in practice and the new Criminal Procedure Rules for expert evidence. An accountant who can produce a coherent and readable report marshalling the relevant facts and information based on a thorough and detailed examination of the evidence, and who can appear as a persuasive expert witness.
ISSUE 23 Is the taxman bound by the human rights act?
There may be times when a tax payer can seem to be deprived of the right to a fair trial...
ISSUE 22 Worth more Dead than Alive
Common commercial sense can sometimes have no place in the assessment of damages in fatal accident dependency claims...
ISSUE 21 For Richer, or for Poorer, til debt do us part
No one is immune from the effects of the current crisis in the world financial markets but family lawyers are amongst the less obvious casualties.
ISSUE 20 Credit Crunch Squeezes Multipliers
NIFA members have seen a significant reduction in multipliers applied to earnings in corporate transactions this year and warn that business valuations in divorce and other litigation proceedings are likely to be correspondingly depressed.
ISSUE 19 Ogden Six - A New Approach
The sixth edition of the Ogden Tables was published in May last year and is likely to have a significant impact on personal injury and clinical negligence claims.
ISSUE 18 A fair days pay
Matrimonial lawyers and others who frequently review valuations prepared by forensic accountants will be only too familiar with the adjustment to maintainable earnings for directors' remuneration.
ISSUE 17 Tax and divorce
Too often the accounting expert is appointed too late to make a difference to the financial settlement. Too often the accountant is asked merely to "value the spouse's shares in ABC Limited" and only later asked, as an afterthought, how to extract funds from the company. With a bit more up-front involvement, the accountant can help to ensure that the divorcing couple safeguard the marital assets for themselves.......
ISSUE 16 Working Tax Credit, the claim that's never claimed
The Government introduced the current working tax credit system on 6 April 2003 to assist those in low paid work. It is available to both the employed and self employed and replaced the previous system of working families’ tax credits. In our experience, very few lawyers ever consider the effect of working tax credits on claims for loss of earnings. Those who ignore it do so at their peril!
ISSUE 15 Periodic Payments - Comparing Apples With Pears?
The introduction of the new periodic payments regime poses problems for personal injury and medical negligence lawyers trying to advise their clients on the advantages and disadvantages of lump sums compared with periodic payments.
ISSUE 14 Part 2 - Valuing Private Companies - Part 2
Valuing businesses is more of an art than a science because value is a matter of opinion. Indeed, it has been said that the value of a share is what it can be argued to be. This is especially true when valuing shares for tax purposes, where the valuer adopts the "hypothetical open market" basis. So it is often more appropriate to state the value of a share as falling within a range of values, rather than to specify a precise figure. After all, the valuer is not normally one of the transacting parties and is in no position to strike a deal, thereby determining the price. So the valuer should aim to give the transacting parties a range of values within which, in his professional opinion, a deal is likely to be concluded.
ISSUE 14 Part 1 - Valuing Private Companies - Part 1
The profit and loss account is the history book or log of the company’s transactions for a particular period. So, when you see the words “Profit and loss account for the year ended 31st December 2004” it means exactly what it says on the tin. It means all the sales made, less all the costs incurred in the year to that date. Or could it mean something else? Here beginneth your first lesson in creative accounting. Some might call it deception! This is important. The valuer must get to grips with the true level of profits being generated by the business and this may not be what is shown in the Profit and Loss Account – the P&L.
ISSUE 12 Claiming Loss of Pension - Ready Reckoner
Quantifying the loss of pension benefits under the Second State Pension ("S2P") is far from straightforward, yet the losses can be considerable. The tables in this issue of NIFA News can be used to determine whether or not it is cost effective to instruct a forensic accountant to undertake a detailed calculation, specific to the circumstances of any given case.
ISSUE 11 Claiming Loss of Pension
The inclusion of a claim for loss of pension in the heads of claim in PI and Fatal Accident cases is easily overlooked. Especially for a younger claimant, loss of pension may not be at the front of the claimant’s mind, or the mind of his solicitor. Even if it is, how does one calculate the amount to be claimed?
ISSUE 10 Accountants don't have x-ray vision!
The majority of instructing solicitors provide excellent instructions but every now and again we the impression that a solicitor thinks we have X-ray vision. In such cases, it is assumed that, if an accountant stares really hard at a set of accounts, then somehow, magically, information will appear before his/her eyes that is invisible to lesser mortals.
ISSUE 9 Raising funds for the Matrimonial Settlementng
Placing a value on the husband's business or company may prove to be an academic exercise if, after the separate housing needs of the husband and wife have been met, there is no significant capital available for a settlement.