Experienced Forensic Accountants Involved as Expert and Advisor in a Range of Commercial Disputes.

Our experience, sector knowledge, technical ability and attention to detail allows us to assist clients in achieving successful resolutions in a wide range of commercial disputes. We get to the heart of any claim, providing initial advice pre-action, and then working as party expert, single joint expert or shadow expert in arbitration, mediation or litigation. We are also involved in expert determinations, acting as determinator or putting together submissions for one of the parties. Sally is an accredited expert under the Institute of Chartered Accountant’s Presidents Appointment Scheme.

Examples of Cases

Acting for petitioners in shareholder dispute

Acted on behalf of the petitioners to value a contracting business in which they and the respondents were shareholders. The petitioners were not actively involved in the business, despite being majority shareholders, having inherited the shares from their father. We carried out a valuation of the business, which was reliant on major public sector contracts for its continued profitability. We were also asked to assess the reasonableness of the income that the respondents had taken out of the business. On submission of our report, we met with the experts acting for the other side and the case eventually settled at a value closer to our figures than those put forward by the other side.

Acting for Defendant, former FD of family owned business

Allegations of tortious conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duties were made against the Defendant, the former FD of a family owned business, in respect of a company buy back of own shares. In particular we were asked to assess whether the shares had been valued at an undervalue, comment on the implications of the pension fund deficit and assess whether whitewashing procedures had been correctly followed. Sally acted for the FD and the case was heard in the High Court, Chancery Division. The Judge cleared the Defendant and in respect of the expert evidence he stated that “Ms Longworth was an excellent expert witness, considered and measured in her evidence” and “To the extent that there are material differences of opinion between the two experts, I have no hesitation in preferring the expert opinions of Ms Longworth.”

Acting for claimant, a whisky distillery, in claim related to a potential flood risk

We were instructed to assess the potential losses to the business of a flood which would cause the distillery to close for up to one year, as the natural spring water used in production would be tarnished by flood water. Our claim was formulated on the basis of the cost of mitigation, whereby the distillery produced a buffer stock, or on the loss of profits which would result from the closure. As whisky is not sold until it is at least ten years of age the calculations were complex.

Advisor to commercial agent

A Commercial Agent had an agency with a turnover of £200,000 which was to be terminated. We were engaged to review the offer made by the Principal and review the valuation report submitted in support of the offer. The agency was one of several held by the agent and we were able to show that the valuation was flawed, it assumed all costs related to one agency and applied an unrealistically low multiple. We provided a short letter commenting on the valuation and the agent and his solicitor were able to negotiate a settlement which was almost three times the original offer.

Key Areas of Work Include:

  • Business interruption claims, as a result of fire, flood, product recall or compulsory purchase. We have worked on a wide range of insurance claims including subrogated loss claims
  • Losses arising from breach of warranty, misrepresentation and other contractual disputes. Contentious valuations - shareholder and partnership disputes, commercial agency cases
  • Professional negligence claims looking at liability issues, in respect of accountancy advice, and at quantum

Further Information