Form E reviews undertaken by forensic accountants can significantly reduce the overall costs of involving accounting experts in divorce cases.
Both divorcing parties and judges alike are keen to reduce the Court’s use of expert evidence. However, this can lead to interesting conundrums for the parties’ solicitors…
- How can you advise on the value of a business stated in Form E without appointing an expert?
- Alternatively, what if you think everything looks straight forward and something gets missed or the right question doesn’t get asked?
Over the past few months we have seen a significant increase in the number of requests we receive to undertake Form E reviews or otherwise to review information provided by one other party in divorce proceedings. We have been presented with Form E extracts, bank statements, statutory accounts and valuation reports, to name but a few.
We are no strangers to these kinds of documents. Consequently, often with relative ease and minimal expense, we are able to identify issues and areas to question or alternatively provide confidence that all is as it seems.
We were recently engaged by the wife to review information provided by the husband relating to his business. She was adamant that he was hiding something. While we were unable to identify anything of concern from four years of bank statements, we did query the basis upon which a successful business with profits of c£250k for the past four years was deemed to have no market value.
In another case we were engaged by the wife to review an expert valuation of the husband’s company. The valuation was lower than had been hoped but this was due to the fact that the husband had been drawing too much out of the company. We concluded that ultimately the valuation was reasonable. Although this may not have been the most desirable answer for the wife, at least we were able to provide confidence over the valuation in a cost effective way.