Graeme Fraser, Partner at Hunters, and Rakesh Kapila look at when it is necessary and proportionate to instruct a forensic accountant in financial proceedings
Changes relating to the use of expert evidence in family proceedings mean that the instruction of forensic accountants in financial proceedings requires technical precision and an appropriate understanding of case law, together with the procedural rules and guidance. By reference to a practical worked example, this article examines how family law practitioners and forensic accountants should operate to ensure that the appropriate evidence can be obtained.
Abigail is married to Bob, who is one of the directors and shareholders in Better Bricks, a family business, in which the other shares are vested in Bob’s parents and his two siblings. Abigail was distraught to discover that Bob has been having an affair with Carrie, one of Abigail’s former best friends, and also a key Customer of Better Bricks.
Bob and his family have always been highly secretive about the company’s finances, but during the marriage Abigail witnessed them enjoying a lavish lifestyle, including many exotic family holidays, a passion for sports cars, and fine dining. Abigail was astonished when shortly after Separation Bob disclosed that he personally is heavily indebted.
During voluntary disclosure, Bob prepared a Form E indicating that the current value of Better Bricks is nil, and also provided disclosure of his income as being insufficient to pay the mortgage on the family home, a large, detached, mock Tudor home, believed to be worth in the region of £5m.
Read the full article in Family Law Journal here .