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            DWF Forensic

            DWF Forensic is a team of experienced, qualified forensic accountants and investigators, with ‘Big Four’ accounting expertise.

            DWF Forensic

            We are a team of forensic accountants, accredited investigators and intelligence analysts.  We provide support when key commercial or regulatory relationships break down, or if disruption arises through fraud or other criminal activity.

            Over the years we have each assisted clients with the quantification or challenge of losses arising from business interruption; breach of contract; defamation; fire and water damage; breach of copyright and losses arising from personal injury; as well as completing investigations related to both the UK Fraud and Bribery Acts (typically following whistle-blower activity); and we have worked closely with legal teams and the police to secure civil recoveries and criminal convictions across the globe.

            Click here to get in touch with our team

            Decision Trees

            DWF Forensic uses Decision Trees to provide our clients with clear and concise advice on the options, costs and likely outcomes of disputes. Our aim is to help clients make tough decisions and introduce certainty during uncertain times. Find out more about how Decision Trees can help when you are faced with a dispute scenario >

            Our Forensic expertise includes:

            We offer both Corporate Intelligence and specialist Insurance Intelligence services.

            Corporate intelligence was previously the exclusive preserve of large risk consultancy firms. We however, offer a unique, affordable and bespoke solution for investigative due diligence purposes.

            We have developed three services:

            • Reputational Due Diligence
            • Financial Due Diligence
            • Key Person Due Diligence

            Download our information sheet here >

             

            Please see examples of reports we can produce for: 

            Financial due diligence >

            Reputational due diligence >

             

            It is widely estimated that around 10% of all insurance claims expenditure is attributable to fraud.  Our insurance intelligence service helps clients manage the cost of fraud through proactive screening, claimant profiling and bespoke investigation services purposes.

            Download our information sheet here >

             

            Our DWF Sonar service verifies claimant information through a comprehensive set of search tools, many of which are not accessible to legal advisers and claims handlers outside of fraud departments. Find out how to request your free sample report and lower the cost of your claims.

            Find out more about DWF Sonar >

            DWF Forensic offers clients specialist forensic accounting expertise including support with the quantification and challenge of personal losses – in particular of self-employed earnings and pensions - arising from injury claims.  

            We work either as part of a privilege protected legal advice team alongside DWF lawyers forming one of the largest insurance and claims teams in the UK, to provide immediate, cost effective access to forensic accounting expertise, allowing the insurer client to make informed decisions about the approach to take long before a case would typically be sent to an external accountant. We can also receive direct instruction from insurers. 
             

            Download our information sheet here >

            Find out more about DWF's legal expertise in the Insurance sector >

            Should a business suffer fraud, bribery or other financial irregularity, response time is critical. We react quickly to identify, locate and secure key evidence.  That evidence is typically stored electronically on computer hard drives and servers, which must be copied in a forensically robust manner.  We secure and analyse emails and other communication sources such as text and voicemail messages.  We identify the key suspects and conduct thorough investigative interviews. 

            Depending upon the circumstances, we communicate our findings to the Board; senior management or independent sub-committees.  We can also provide post-incident reports on any control failings and offer advice to improve the robustness of fraud prevention controls.

            Our aim is to work closely with you, our legal and intelligence teams, your insurers and where necessary the police, in order to bring the matter to a swift conclusion and to minimise disruption.  Typical outcomes include civil recoveries and/or criminal convictions across the globe.

            Download our information sheet here >

            Our strengths lie in understanding, calculating and challenging claims for losses; whether they be attributable to commercial disputes or insurance claims.  Spreadsheets, accounting systems and calculations are typically the cornerstones of our day to day activities.

            We provide support with the quantification and challenge of business losses arising from breach of contract, copyright issues and defamation.  We also provide support to our clients subject to penalties arising from regulatory intervention.

            Download our information sheet here >

            Case Studies

            Background

            DWF Forensic is a team of qualified forensic accountants and investigators, with ‘Big Four’ accounting expertise and decades of relevant experience. Over the years we have assisted clients with the quantification or challenge of losses arising from business interruption; breach of contract and insurance claims as well company valuations in connection with shareholder disputes or breach of warranty claims. 

            The Situation

            Our client, an international supplier of pet related products, was in dispute with a German company over the purchase of its pet food supply business. Our client had purchased the business two years prior on the basis of various information and documentation provided by the Seller, some of which had been warranted in the asset purchase agreement. Shortly after completion of the purchase the business began to suffer a decline in recorded sales and an increase in costs. Our client suspected that the Seller had been diverting customers to a rival business in which the Seller was now involved and that additionally the Seller had failed to accurately record the costs of the business in the management accounts, which it had warranted. Following a breakdown in negotiations between the parties, our client instructed us to issue proceedings in the English court.

            How we helped

            Working with the litigation team, DWF Forensic carried out an investigation into the documentation shared between the parties prior to the purchase. In particular DWF Forensic focused on understanding the methodology used to value the business for purchase. We undertook a review and analysis of the warranted management accounts and a comparison with both the statutory accounts filed at the German company registry and the business' accounting records. On the basis of our findings, DWF Forensic computed an alternative valuation of the business based on the original valuation methodology (being a multiple of EBITDA) but applying this to the business' true financial position at the time. We worked with litigators and DWF Advocacy team to particularise the specific accounting related breaches and prepare the financial loss section of the Particulars of Claim.

            Outcome

            The legal proceedings are ongoing, however the filing of the Particulars of Claim have led to renewed negotiations between the parties which may lead to settlement in due course. 

            Background

            DWF Forensic combine the skills of forensic accountants, investigators and intelligence analysts with law enforcement backgrounds, to provide the firm's clients with a bespoke, desk-top based intelligence service. We work with client's to provide pre-acquisition due diligence on target companies and their management teams, reputational risk analysis on potential new business partners and suppliers, assist with investigation into factual allegations and carry out asset tracing in relation to litigation matters.

            The Situation

            A banking client of our Dubai office is seeking to recover a debt from a loan customer that has defaulted on repayments. A number of individuals and companies have also provided guarantees for the loan in question. Our client wishes to understand whether the debt could viably be recovered from any of these entities and needs advice on the best course of legal action to take to recover the amount.

            How we helped

            Working alongside the Dubai litigation team, DWF Forensic carried out an asset tracing exercise on the debtor and each guarantor. DWF Forensic's team used their experience and skills to penetrate and analyse unindexed data stored in the "deep web" as well as international media, websites, forums and social media. Combining this expertise with a toolkit of subscription-only databases covering global companies and their directors and international sanctions and 'watch list' records as well as registered user access to a number of worldwide Official Corporate Registries, DWF Forensic were able to generate comprehensive and relevant intelligence for the client. This included identifying shareholdings and their potential value if sold, researching current and historic corporate ownership structures, estimating the nature and value of company inventory or physical assets on the open market, identifying property owned internationally, providing information on existing court proceedings in various jurisdictions and identifying family members and their potential worth. Being based in-house allowed a constant flow of communication between DWF Forensic, the legal team and the client, meaning that the focus of both the investigation and legal work could be tightly controlled and quickly adapted as new internal and external information came to light. Our analysts were able to support the presentation of our complex findings by using i2 charting software to prepare a clear, one-page diagram of organisational structures and connected assets and individuals.

            Outcome

            Our legal team were able to use our findings to identify the jurisdictions in which legal action would be worthwhile pursuing. The work of the legal team continues as they make seizure and freezing applications in various jurisdictions, in order to recover the debt.

            If and when those applications require further in-depth information to support them, DWF Forensic can quickly pick up any investigation required, avoiding the delay of re-appointing an external investigation agency.

            Background

            DWF Forensic is a team of qualified forensic accountants and investigators, with ‘Big Four’ accounting expertise and decades of relevant experience. Over the years we have assisted clients with the quantification or challenge of losses arising from business interruption; breach of contract; defamation; fire and water damage; breach of copyright and losses arising from personal injury. 

            The Situation

            Our client, a Russian citizen, was the defendant in a claim brought against him by a company in the UK High Court. The claim was for £26m that was alleged to be due under 17 contracts of loan that had been breached. The defence advanced by the defendant was that there were never any genuine loan agreements entered into between the parties and that the proceedings were brought as part of a process of so-called "corporate raiding" against him. During the case there were orders for disclosure of numerous bank statements by both sides.

            How we helped

            Working with the litigation case team, DWF Forensic carried out a review and analysis of the payments and receipts disclosed in the bank statements of both the claimant and the defendant. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate that there had been no history of loan repayments by the defendant and in fact the claimant company had acted as a conduit for the defendant's own money. This required careful consideration of numerous hard copy bank statements, many of which were heavily redacted, spanning over six years. We produced a single page summary for the legal team setting out the counter-parties to which payments were made or received, the value of those transactions and the relative proportion of payments made to each. We carried out open source, desktop research to establish further details of the counterparties, including the nature of their business and their location. 

            Outcome

            The legal team were able to use our forensic analysis of the bank statements to inform the case strategy and identify issues for cross examination at trial. 

            In the judgment issued by HHJ Paul Matthews, consideration of the bank statements and analysis of the payments between the parties involved, was a key element of the case. It assisted in leading to the eventual dismissal of the claim.

            Key Information

            Managing risk

            Download our Information Sheet here

            Download PDF (499kb)

            Chris Wheeler

            • Director // Head of DWF Forensic Services

            People

            Helen Walters

            • Forensic Accountant

            Lauren Highton

            • Forensic Accountant

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