The unravelling of financial circumstances is often the cause of headaches for even the most skilled lawyers in matrimonial proceedings. When dealing with complex financial affairs that may include a variety of shareholdings/ business interests, offshore assets, property investments, pensions and investments, it is imperative that all of the assets of the parties are captured in order to give an accurate indication of their true wealth in Ancillary Relief proceedings.
At Quantis, we have many years of experience advising lawyers in ancillary relief matters. Prior to the formation of Quantis in 2004, Peter Smith was 'in-house' Forensic Accountant at Dickinson Dees and advised the Family team on a wide range of issues including:
- Reviewing Form E's and considering the supporting financial information provided.
- Raising supplemental questions in response.
- Valuation of shares in private companies and businesses.
- The ability to raise funds and providing practical solutions to assist with this.
- Division of earnings and pension rights
- Ancillary relief funds tracing.
- Duxbury calculations.
In-particular, when costs, particularly expert's costs, are a major issue, it is becoming more and more common for the parties to agree on the appointment of a single joint expert to consider the financial issues. However, where the divorce proceedings are particularly acrimonious and there is a potential for a wide range of opinion, or where one party has reasonable grounds for believing that the other is hiding assets or income, the appointment of a single joint expert may not be appropriate.
Having been in the unique position of working 'in-house' for a major law firm, Peter Smith knows more than most what solicitors want when seeking forensic accounting advice in matrimonial disputes, namely;
- Your case being handled throughout by the expert, rather than being passed down the line;
- Sensible fees with no surprises;
- Prompt service, and;
- Sound advice based upon knowledge and experience in this specialist field.
On numerous occasions we have carried out a brief review of disclosure provided with Form E's and assisted with the drafting of supplemental questions. This may take no more that a couple of hours and often reveals undisclosed assets and income.