Shareholder dispute in family business
Appointment Type: Expert advisor
Service Area: Valuations
Litigation Type: Other
Appointed as expert to one of the defendants in a shareholder dispute concerning four sisters who were the sole shareholders of a company founded by their father. The company was directed by one of the sisters and her business partner. The remaining sisters were the claimants who alleged that they had been deprived of the value of their shares by virtue of the actions of their family solicitor and their family accountant (by proxy, the respective indemnity insurers were the defendants).
The claimants and each of the defendants appointed their own expert to address to valuation of the company and the shares therein. The three experts’ opinions differed significantly.
In one of the few cases in which ‘hot tubbing’ has been used in Court, the experts provided their evidence concurrently and the Judge was able to reach a conclusion on the valuation. Taking the joint statement prepared by the experts as an agenda, the Judge addressed his questions to each expert in turn and, having sought the opinion of each expert, each was given an opportunity to comment on or respond to the comments of the others.
The Judge ultimately concluded on a valuation which was consistent with that prepared by the NIFA expert.