Informed financial planning advisors pass on their wisdom to clients. If a company fails they will naturally look at back at this advice. In this TV show Doug Hall discuses throwing the spotlight on professional advice.
For example auditors, we are dealing with a number of cases, where a company has failed, and if the company had not failed there wouldn’t be an issue. But in the company going into administration for example, major creditors had lost and they may say that they have relied for example on audited accounts to make decisions, to lend money or to support the company and in the cold light of day the company having failed, that’s an example where you may go back and look at what the auditor said in earlier years. So we have situations arising from insolvent companies where the spotlight is thrown onto a whole range of professional advice that they were given before the company failed. Which never would have come under that spotlight if the company hadn’t gone into administration for example. It's not an area that we get involved in but valuers have seen a big increase in the number of actions against them very simple because the banks relied on valuations of properties for example, and then when the company has gone into administration and the bank has lost out, they then go back and look again at the professional opinions that they relied upon, in making their original lending decisions.
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Business assets that are being bought or sold should only be valuated by a professional. Ignoring this may lead to huge losses or even liability. In this TV show John Rugman discusses getting the right valuation advice.
It’s important to get some professional help. The area is quite technical, there’s a lot of judgement involved and it’s important that the end number is sound, it can be cross checked against experience of valuations and other assets and companies. There’s something around the expertise in this area, because it’s an area where quite often people have a go. So there’s quite a lot of unprofessionalism if you like, people have a go at doing a valuation, anyone can calculate a number, yeah that’s the easy bit. So I think there is something around specialists who do evaluation work all day every day, I think there’s something around the fact that I’ve seen people get it really badly wrong and get sued, so. So there are a variety of different sources from where you can see a valuation. I think the key thing to note is there is usually a lot of money at stake and the discipline itself is quite subjective. So it’s important to go to specialists who are familiar with the circumstance, used to doing valuations, understand the methodologies, so they can reach a conclusion which is right.
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The legal sector now has less resources to pursue action for business disputes, as Doug Hall discusses in this TV show.
So basically this whole arena that the commercial world changed overnight caused tension and caused a whole range of drivers for more commercial disputes. However in more difficult times, parties or potential parties to commercial disputes were wary about committing funds to pursuing them. So that’s the irony, that there were more disputes but less resources to pursue them and what we saw for a number of years is that cases would start and be settled very early, they’d be front end loaded and it required a different sort of input from forensic accountants for example and for the lawyers, that they would do a much more high level exercise to establish damages for example early on and then go for an early settlement. I had a few years where I went to more mediations than I went to trials and we had to produce a different sort of report for a mediation to what we produce for a trail, a different purpose. One really gives a less balanced view, a report, a WP report for a mediation, an experts repot for a trial needs to be very balanced and because an expert has a duty to the court. So the symptom we saw was there was definitely an increase in those sort of disputes for those sorts of reasons, but less of them actually went through towards the trial, which is really to do with cash flow and to do with companies under pressure and litigation was not a priority. And this is the sort of picture that we had from all the lawyers we know, because we spend quite a lot of time talking to litigators, they’re the people we work with.
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When parties are involved in litigation, each party has an obligation to disclose the documents of relevance to the case. And whether those documents are good for their side or bad, and so with each firm of any size now, having huge amounts of information it’s important to be able to easily digest that information and sift it for relevance to a particular matter.
It’s gone an incredible distance.
There are two types of reviews really, one is a traditional linear review where the lawyers and the clients will look at the documents and read the documents themselves and use their own eyes and understanding to make a categorisation of a particular email etc.
And they will sift those down by using keywords and date range parameters and so forth.
The big steps now are that computers are making those decisions for them, sometimes more successfully than others.