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The End Of A Partnership – 27 June 2013

Member: Nifa

The High Court ruled earlier this month that the intellectual property rights for software created within a now-defunct partnership had belonged to the partnership rather than the partner who created it, who was the ex-wife of the other partner.  As with the divorce itself, no doubt, a lot of the arguments will have centred around money, such as profit from the intellectual property rights, and it is to be hoped that both partners engaged a firm of forensic accountants to help them through the legal maze of the dissolution of both partnerships.

When a business partnership breaks down, there is a lot to calculate if the partners are to receive their fair dues, from share valuations to completion accounts.  However, the investigation will not only involve the numbers, but will also look into intangible assets and projected losses as well as pure share value calculation.

In the event of a dispute, the forensic accountant will conduct a detailed analysis of numerous years accounting records to quantify the issues in dispute.  For example, a common issue that often arises is the compensation and benefits received by each of the disputing partners.  It is to be hoped that the dispute will not escalate to a full-blown court hearing and many forensic accountants assist lawyers to the point of mediation, so that this does not happen.  However, should a case go to court, most firms of forensic accountants are happy to act as expert witnesses.

The expert will have put together a robust case through a detailed analysis of all the issues, financial and otherwise, and will be able to speak for their client in a clear and dispassionate manner at a time when to represent themselves would almost certainly be too emotionally draining.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 27 June 2013

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