We think Lambert Chapman LLP is quite rare amongst accountancy firms of our size in that we have our own Forensic Team.

We are called into action in two main areas:

1.    We take instruction from Solicitors to assist in Matrimonial cases.

2.    We might also be instructed by Solicitors in commercial litigation.

In the matrimonial sphere, the Solicitor will often need us to value a business or a share in the business for the purpose of the division of assets.  Sometimes there will be a suspicion that one party is concealing assets so our involvement then takes on a more forensic flavour.

Often the divorce will involve property and our task is to compute the capital gains tax and stamp duty land tax issues in the event of a hypothetical sale.

We are fortunate that we deal with several excellent legal Practices who regularly instruct us.

The cases vary in difficulty and complexity. One challenge can be securing all the information we need to fulfil our assignment which can arise because:

  • One party in the dispute is uncooperative.
  • Acrimony has set in between both parties.

We might find that we have just a couple of straightforward residential property lets to calculate the potential capital gains tax arising on the putative sale.  We can, however, have a substantial property portfolio of mixed residential and commercial units to deal with.

In the context of business valuations, it could be a small lifestyle business or a complex group structure operating in manifold jurisdictions.

The main players on the Team are:

 Paul Short - Lambert Chapman Partner Richard Thomson - Lambert Chapman Senior Manager Lucy Orrow - Lambert Chapman Senior Tax Manager

Paul Short (Left) – Reporting Partner
Richard Thompson (Middle) – Business Valuation
Lucy Orrow (Right) – Tax based instructions

Over the last few years, since we have run the Team, particular successes have been:

1.    Valuing a Group at £16 million to £19 million in a matrimonial case, where the other very well respected Expert valued the Group at £26 million to £29 million.  The case was eventually settled when a foreign entity took over the Group and paid £19 million.

2.    Assisting in the defence of an Accountancy Firm which were being sued by a Farming Partnership because closing crops had been included both in the valuation and in debtors.  Our particular expertise in agriculture enables us to assist in a successful defence.

We try and project ourselves as a local alternative to the regional, national firms.  We are always delighted to quote for any assignment or to discuss the case in outline and on an anonymous basis or indeed just offer an Accountant’s perspective on an issue. So do please give us a call.


Posted by Paul Short


The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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