Oftentimes conflicts among partners/shareholders lead to litigation. The Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Group at Gettry Marcus provide invaluable assistance to the attorneys that retain us in complex stakeholder disputes.
Utilizing a qualified and experienced professional who understands all stages of a litigation can offer dramatic leverage at the negotiating table and in the courtroom by presenting clear quantifiable data in a convincing manner.
Our multi-credentialed team of specialists work within the context of the time pressures typically present in litigation.
We maintain active roles in many professional organizations in our disciplines, and contribute articles to nationally recognized peer reviewed journals and publications. We have attained the highest level of credentials within our profession and serve as national instructors and lecturers to various professional groups, including state CPA organizations, on various business valuation and forensic accounting topics.
- Evaluate the Dispute
Not all prospective cases should be litigated. We assist counsel in evaluating the merits of a case in determining the feasibility of continuing with litigation. Perhaps the preliminary evidence obtained indicates that the case should not be pursued, or the client should accept a settlement offer. Our assessment of the case is often sought by attorneys and their clients.
- Discovery Assistance and Financial Forensics
We have the expertise, resources, and creativity to craft comprehensive discovery requests. We provide initial document requests, perform document inspections, and analyze financial and nonfinancial information. We combine data analysis techniques with strong investigative skills in searching for indications of financial improprieties.
- Investigative Services
An attorney’s impact on a matter can be greatly enhanced by the information provided during the dispute. Our forensic accounting litigation specialists link the people and the money by identifying critical data. Such investigative analyses can include uncovering previously undetected entities, assets, and associations.
- Business Valuation
Commercial litigation cases often require the valuation of a business. Gettry Marcus’ credentialed business valuation specialists possess the expertise to provide valuation services for businesses in varied industries.
- Assist in Settlement Negotiations
Most litigation cases do not make it to trial. We continuously update the attorneys on the strengths and weaknesses of the case as it progresses, as additional facts are discovered, and legal strategies change. Our input provides guidance during the settlement phase. Attorneys rely on our expertise to evaluate settlement terms.We have the requisite tax expertise to analyze and communicate the tax ramifications of a potential settlement.
- Expert Report
Our expert reports are clear and concise, based on applying reliable theories and methodologies to the facts that are uncovered during our assignment. Our reports are an effective tool in supporting our position.
- Expert Testimony / Trial Support
Gettry Marcus’ litigation specialists support counsel during the trial process. Whether assisting attorneys with questions for direct and cross examinations, or preparing exhibits and other visual aids, we take pride in presenting complex information in the most understandable manner to the trier of fact. We are actively involved in analyzing events as they evolve in court proceedings.We have provided expert testimony in Federal and state courts, as well as arbitration proceedings. Our meticulous preparation and well-reasoned opinions, based on the facts gathered during our investigations, have been accepted by the courts.
Partner/Shareholder Disputes Case Studies
We were retained, in an arbitration case, by a dissenting minority shareholder of a fitness club who was being forced out by the majority shareholders. The majority shareholders were intentionally not soliciting new members in order to reduce the value of the business until the minority shareholder’s interest was purchased. The majority shareholders’ expert valued the business at zero based strictly on the book value from historical financial statements.
We were able to obtain operating information of fitness clubs similar in size and geographic location to the subject club and prepared pro-forma income statements based on membership levels of comparable facilities. We prepared our report according to New York State’s standard of fair value which does not recognize discounts for minority interests in dissenting shareholder actions. From this, the arbitrator determined that if the company was managed properly it would have significant value, and ruled in favor of our client.
Gettry Marcus was retained to assist the attorneys defending a CEO and CFO, minority shareholders of a large private company, against accusations concerning theft of funds and disbursements for personal use. These accusations were a result of the minority shareholders’ dispute over the contract to purchase the remaining shares of stock from the majority shareholder.
Through interviews with company personnel and analyses of the information gathered by our team, we were able to prove that all the alleged improper expenditure claims against the CEO and CFO were actually for bonafide business purposes. We developed charts and graphs used by our clients’ counsel that clearly explained our position to the jury. Through Gettry Marcus forensic efforts and effective presentation, we were able to assist our clients in receiving a favorable settlement with regard to the unfounded accusations.
Gettry Marcus was retained by counsel to represent a medical doctor holding a minority interest in a multi-location medical practice, with annual revenues in excess of $100 million. In addition, there were multiple real estate holdings owned by the same shareholders in separate entities. We were engaged to evaluate an existing buyout offer, and perform an extensive forensic examination of the medical practice and real estate entities.
Our forensic investigation yielded several instances of undisclosed corporate opportunities being diverted from the medical practice where our client was a partner. In addition, we documented examples of the medical practice paying personal expenditures and unauthorized disbursements for the benefit of the other partners. We also identified several instances where funds of the medical practice were used to acquire real estate that was titled in the names of the other partners. These findings, when presented to the existing partners, resulted in the purchase price being increased by approximately eight-fold. We also worked closely with tax counsel regarding tax planning and projections associated with the transaction.
Gettry Marcus was retained by counsel representing the Plaintiff, a 50% owner of a $30 million privately held company, to calculate the amount due to his client related to the disproportionate benefits which had been received by the Plaintiff’s partner. We were also engaged to value the Plaintiff’s interest for the purpose of negotiating a buyout. We prepared analyses detailing the various manners in which our client’s partner had diverted corporate opportunities and funds to himself and to entities in which our client did not have an ownership interest.
Our investigation resulted in a buyout transaction with terms that exceeded the amounts previously offered to our client by his partner, and with the opportunity to realize even greater sums if reasonable growth targets were achieved.