From time to time solicitors appoint expert witnesses either as party-appointed witness or as single joint expert witness. The former is common in commercial litigation and the latter more so in matrimonial proceedings, where a business is involved.
We provide party-appointed or single joint expert witness services in the areas of:
- Business/ share valuation (in divorce proceedings, shareholder/ partnership disputes etc.)
- Taxation (commonly in conjunction with valuations in divorce proceedings)
- Accounting (in shareholder/ partnership disputes, medical negligence (loss of earnings) etc.)
- Audit (in negligence claims etc.)
Our Consultant, James Eyre-Walker, has 36 years' experience in the profession. He is a practicing Associate of the Academy of Experts.
Vicky Hulse (Tax Director) and Julie Boyle (Agricultural Director) and Scott Cadman (General Practice Manager) also undertake expert witness and related work in taxation, agricultural and general accounting and valuation matters, respectively.
We are happy to provide no-obligation, fixed fee quotes for any service you may consider engaging us to supply.
To discuss matters relating to our expert witness services, please get in touch with our Agricultural Director (Julie Boyle) on 01782 848838 or email us using the link below.
We were a party-appointed witness, acting for the defendant in a case where a company had gone into administration. The liquidator was claiming that dividends of £1.5 million were illegal because the reference accounts showed reserves of under £200,000 and was seeking repayment of the excess. In his defence the director/ shareholder had produced (a) revised accounts and (b) management accounts for the later year preceding the year in which the dividends were paid but before the accounts had been prepared/ signed. Our instructions were to address whether:
- The original accounts were incorrect and capable of being amended
- the adjustments made to the revised accounts were fair and reasonable and in accordance with relevant accounting standards or Companies Act legislation
- The management accounts represent interim accounts
Our initial findings were not very supportive of our clients' case, but our first duty is always to the court and therefore we had to report them as we found them. We reported that the original accounts were capable of being amended, but that most of the proposed adjustments were not justified and that management accounts could be used as interim accounts to justify the payment of some of the dividends but did not contain any provision for taxation and the in-year dividends (around £500,000) hadn't been recognised.
However, we also noted that the company was undertaking a profitable £20 million+ contract, but nothing had been invoiced in the year and there was no work-in-progress in the accounts. The court instructed us to meet with the liquidator's expert to agree on matters we agreed on and where our opinions differed and why. In fact, we agreed on most points, but we also persuaded the other expert to agree that there was likely to have been substantial work-in-progress at the year end not recognised in the management accounts.
The matter was settled before it went back to court with a very modest payment to the liquidator.