Forensic accountants are commonly appointed in matrimonial disputes either by one party (as a party-appointed advisor or expert witness) or by both parties as single joint expert (SJE).
Harwood Hutton can act for either the application or respondent or both parties in divorce and other matrimonial proceedings.
As well as the traditional court approach to reaching a financial divorce settlement, we can work with parties who have chosen to adopt the collaborative approach to managing their divorce.
We have undertaken work to assist one or both parties during the divorce process as well as after the financial divorce settlement has been reached in circumstances where one or both parties have not acted in accordance with the terms of a financial order or are seeking amendments to a financial order.
Our instructions will depend on the specifics of the dispute but typically we are asked give an opinion on the value of assets owned (e.g. business interests), the tax payable on sale or transfer of a business and the level of income that may be received from a business in the future.
We appreciate the sensitive nature of divorce and other matrimonial disputes and can work in accordance with the requirements of the Family Procedure Rules and preparing expert reports and similar output for use in court proceedings
We provide the parties with clarity over the financial aspects of their divorce, helping the parties reach a divorce settlement more quickly and efficiently
Thanks to our accountancy credentials, we have a broad range of practical experience across a number of industries and business types.
We can advise on the financial aspects of matrimonial disputes and can assist with the following:
Form E compilation and/or review
Divorce business valuation
Assessment of the liquidity of business assets
Assessment of historic and future sustainable income
Advice on the tax implications of asset splitting
Asset tracing and other fact-finding exercises
Quantification of losses in connection with enforcement of financial orders
While the precise role of the expert may vary (whether SJE or party-appointed), the expert’s overriding duty is to the Court. As an expert, a forensic accountant must demonstrate independence. Where engaged as an advisor, a forensic accountant has more scope to provide hints and tips. However, an accountant who has acted as an advisor may not be able to accept subsequent instructions as an expert.
After the forensic accountant has produced their report it will not be possible to raise questions on new matters within the same instruction, so it is vital to clarify the exact scope of the forensic accountant’s instructions at the outset. In a joint engagement this is undertaken by means of a joint letter of instruction, a document that is itself regulated in its content.
I always get quick, clear and definitive responses from the Harwood Hutton tax team – commercial answers to commercial issues.Robin Berry – Morgan Management
Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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