Case Study - Economic Loss as a Result of a Disaster
A Fortune 1000 company (the “Company”) required an accredited financial forensic professional with creditable litigation support experience, to investigate and analyze damage claim calculations and provide effective litigation support. The basis of the damage valuation included complex calculations and subjective assumptions for ancillary losses.
The complainant sought remuneration from the Company for alleged damages / losses. While the Company was not averse to providing reasonable relief to the complainant, the Company sought a fair and equitable judgment for financial as well as precedent-setting reasons. The Company met with Lakelet Financial Forensic Group (“LFFG”).
The Company was under judicial pressure to provide evidence supporting continuation of discovery. Further, the complainant had the financial and legal resources to capriciously scrutinize assertions and petition for summary award based on the slightest substance. Accordingly, it was imperative that LFFG provide impeccably documented processes and findings expediently.
The initial issue concern was limited by the documentation provided by the complainant. The documentation was voluminous, contained significant unidentified acronyms and codes unique to the complainant’s records, and lacked quantifiable support. Moreover, the disposition provided by a representative of the complainant was equally voluminous and inconclusive.
The resounding challenge was to assess the basis of the complainant’s damage / loss calculations from limited information, while determining if the complainant’s calculations were erroneous or extraneous, or, incomplete. To this end, it was necessary to first organize and decipher the information provided.
After obtaining an understanding of the nature of the situation, LFFG’s forensic accountants started by characterizing and cataloging the numerous individual line items contained in the complainant’s brief. Some of the items immediately appeared suspect based on the description of the item and the nature of the loss / damage claim. However, it would be necessary to investigate, document, and analyze each item individually, and provide an unbiased examination of the items and their respective monetary value.
Objective examinations are critical in establishing legitimacy recognized by an impartial court. Our independent investigation and discovery and analysis, serve our client’s best interest. Likewise, providing a thorough examination is the hallmark of an experienced, investigative financial forensic professional. It is important not to get caught up in the chase; commodity-driven forensic valuation services do not take the time and care necessary to retain a true prospective of the surrounding business loss. The monetarily cost to, and reputation of, our client is reliant on our professionalism and expertise.
The investigative discovery took us into the depths of the complainant’s industry; this is where our consummate knowledge and experience paid dividends. We investigated and documented the industry standards for equipment use, labor costs and working conditions, administrative support services, infrastructure components and life expectancy, industry research and development costs, and a host of other damage claim inputs.
Once we documented industry standards and practices, we set out to substantiate an independent valuation of damages and losses for the items that were reasonably inclusive. Fortunately, LFFG has cultivated a breadth of professional relationships to obtain hard, quantifiable data. Because we have played a central role in the success of so many companies in a spectrum of industries, we are welcome to call upon a vast network of resources. However, obtaining industry cost metrics alone is not sufficient; valuation is an art more than a science. It is necessary to take a rational approach to valuation while providing sound methodology. The skill set LFFG obtained through decades of experience positioned us to analyze the subjective variables to come up with a reasonable formula that would ultimately pass scrutiny in court.
Here is where the recognition of our team’s credentials, expertise, and litigation support added tangible, quantifiable value. Lakelet Financial Forensics Group provides a deep understanding of the business environment and the leadership skills necessary to effectively communicate financial acumen and knowledge to non-financial colleagues. First, Lakelet Financial Forensics Group worked with the Company’s legal team to develop a true understanding of the losses, and put together a detailed report for submission to the court that clearly showed the complainant’s over-valuation in excess of approximately seven figures.
The Company was successful in obtaining a more justifiable valuation for the business loss as a result of the document LFFG provided. Lakelet Financial Forensics Group continues to provide essential litigation support for the Company, including financial forensic investigation, discovery and analysis, preparation of documentary evidence for processes and finding, and expert witness testimony.