Forensic Accounting, Valuation and Litigation Support
It Is All About Personalized
At DLA, we provide law firms, business owners, and individuals with the best of both worlds. We offer the resources, expertise, and qualifications of a large advisory firm along with the innovative spirit and personalized client service of a smaller firm.
Choosing the best litigation consultants and forensic accountants with in-depth experience investigating, examining, and clarifying complex valuation, finance, and accounting issues can result in the best outcome. Problems, issues, concerns, questions, and disputes will arise in a variety of subjects that require a deep understanding of the issues by specialists in this area, backed by a firm that has a proven track record of doing the right things for clients. Most importantly, we never lose sight of how critical our relationships are with our clients and legal partners nor with our positive history and reputation with the courts.
Since 2001, we are proud to be distinguished and admired as a leader in forensic accounting. We stand behind our reputation, as well as our promises and dedication to our partners and clients. Our valued team provides clients with unparalleled expertise while offering creative solutions to a wide variety of complex forensic and financial matters. Our specialized team of highly skilled and accredited valuation experts, forensic accountants and fraud investigators are thoroughly trained and well versed in the litigation process. What sets us apart from others is the trust we build with our legal partners and clients, while embracing a personal approach in all our relationships. Our seasoned professionals provide deep analysis, independent investigations, and expert testimony for counsel, their clients, and business owners. When you need a reliable partner, who is committed to excellence, we offer customized solutions from matrimonial and commercial litigation services to financial and fraud investigations.
We offer expertise in:
- Construction Audit
- Matrimonial Dissolution Services
- Financial and Fraud Investigations
- Partnership and Shareholder Disputes
- Whistleblower Investigations
- Commercial Litigation
- Estate and Gift Tax Planning
- ERISA Litigation
- Class-Action Securities Litigation
- Construction Disputes
- Damage Calculations
- Court Appointments and Receiverships
- Employment Disputes
- Expert Witness testimony
Due to our integrated approach, our clients benefit from our deep understanding of financial issues through a unique forensic lens. Our clients count on us to provide the assurance that we can solve their most difficult challenges. Recognized for our reputation for delivering excellence to clients, at DLA, we anticipate problems before they arise and help clients solve complicated issues. We produce results that go beyond what our clients require by adopting best practices for engagements that combine financial, accounting, advisory, investigative, and valuation services across a wide range of industries, working with both large and small firms.
Knowing the proper value of a business ownership interest is crucial in circumstances such as litigation, shareholder disputes, buy-sell agreements, and estate planning. The majority of closely held business owners do not know the value of their business ownership interest. Adding to the complexity, the value of a business ownership interest may vary for different purposes. For example, a business ownership interest may have one value for marital dissolution purposes and a different one for estate and gift tax purposes.
Valuing a business requires a high level of expertise. Our business valuation professionals have the specialized training, knowledge, and skills, as well as the in-depth accounting, finance, valuation, and tax experience necessary to effectively provide clients with an accurate and defensible business valuation that holds up to meticulous scrutiny.
Our experts perform a thoughtful and thorough analysis, utilizing professional skepticism, to obtain a deep understanding of the unique characteristics and prospects of each business ownership interest. We apply recognized, generally accepted valuation methodologies to deliver a highly credible business valuation.
Our professionals have valued majority and minority business interests to address a wide range of valuation needs, including:
- Marital Dissolution
- Shareholder Disputes
- Buy-sell Agreements
- Commercial Litigation
- Estate Planning
Combining highly specialized forensic skills with the latest industry knowledge, our forensic accounting team analyzes financial data to multi-national firms and local companies. We provide in-depth services to many clients in diverse industries for issues, including partnership and shareholder disputes, construction audits, and financial and fraud investigations.
DLA’s Forensic Accounting, Business Valuation & Litigation Support group provides clients with significant expertise while offering creative solutions to a wide variety of complex forensic and financial matters. Our professional team of valuation experts, forensic accountants, and fraud investigators are well versed in the litigation process.
DLA manages demanding forensic investigations enabling our clients to better represent their organizations. Our forensic accounting services include assistance with:
Going through a divorce and finding out the joint bank account was drained? Suspect a business partner of concealing funds? We will crack open the books and find where those assets were stashed. We will also comb through both business and personal accounts tracing the movement of money and where it ended up. As the old proverb goes, follow the money.
Experiencing problems arising between business partners or with contractual obligations? We will review your agreements and determine an equitable solution.
DLA’s construction audit experts have performed hundreds of construction audits of development and redevelopment projects. DLA performs construction audit services at various points of a construction project and as a monitoring service for long-lived projects.
- Reviewing existing construction processes
- Developing or augmenting policies and procedures
- Ongoing monitoring of construction projects and the related processes, policies, and procedures
- Forensically reviewing construction projects and the related:
- Request for Proposal process
- Change orders
- Insurance programs
- Payment applications/approvals, including general conditions
Numbers don’t lie – $50 Billion dollars are stolen annually by employees causing a 7% reduction in revenues and a third of all business bankruptcies. The average fraudster steals $175,000 and takes two years to get caught. If employees are suspected of taking kickbacks from contractors or stealing checks from the mailroom, DLA’s experienced team of fraud investigators can help get your money back where it belongs.
Fraud and misconduct represent a pervasive and significant threat to individuals and to firms of all sizes and industries. It can occur in many guises. Some fraud schemes are designed to damage a business while others are designed to harm a company’s clients. Both scenarios represent a financial risk to a business, so awareness, deterrence, prevention, and mitigation of these acts are critical.
At DLA, we conduct fraud investigations and assist counsel in litigating civil and criminal cases. We conduct a multi-faceted investigation designed to look behind the numbers to determine the “who, why, where, what and how” of any loss. Skilled at interviewing and trained to detect signs of deception, DLA experts identify financial anomalies, connections between individuals, affiliations between business entities, and other clues that reveal how the fraud was conducted and by whom.
When financial statement fraud is alleged, our certified specialists have the training, skills, and experience to thoroughly analyze complex financial transactions, evaluate their legitimacy and determine how they were treated within the accounting records. Our fraud risk management capabilities help firms build sustainable internal fraud risk assessment processes and procedures, develop anti-fraud programs and controls to protect shareholder interests, and maintain the integrity of ﬁnancial reporting. At DLA, we have deep experience and a proven track record of fraud identification and recovery of lost assets.
During the litigation process, understanding the needs of clients, as well as complex financial accounting and securities concepts requires DLA’s experts who can clearly communicate findings to clients, courts, arbitrators, and mediators quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
We will value all businesses owned by either spouse, prepare case information, statements, trace, and document exempt assets, calculate cash flow and disposable income and split property between what you own and what is considered a marital asset.
Partnership and shareholder disputes can develop between business partners when one generally breaches or owes “fiduciary duties” to the partnership or corporation. Lawsuits and shareholder derivative actions are specialized areas of practice. At DLA, we know how to properly evaluate those cases which require both business acumen and the analysis of a skilled expert. Examples include distributions, percentage ownership, governance issues, excessive executive compensation without consent of all partners, diverting investment opportunities for potential self-use vs. sharing, misappropriation of funds, managing the operations, and who is making a greater time commitment to the business.
DLA has audited hundreds of partnerships and joint ventures. When entering into a joint venture or partnership agreement, DLA will assist in reviewing the agreement and ensuring it has the necessary clauses to protect our client, for example; audit clauses, specific reporting requirements, provisions for management fee calculations and the like. In instances for which either partner in such an agreement has a concern, DLA has a proven track record of performing audits for the purpose of identifying a myriad of issues, including but not limited to, deviations from the partnership or joint venture contract, exceptions to industry practices, embezzlement, misappropriation, etc.
At DLA, we have assisted corporate, private equity, and law firm clients in a wide array of purchase price disputes, including working capital adjustments, earn-outs, and breaches of representations and warranties. Our highly qualified specialists serve as forensic accountants, expert witnesses, and consultants throughout the deal lifecycle.
Our solutions include:
- Pre-close assessment of deal provisions
- Closing statement preparation
- Objection notice preparation
- Neutral accounting arbitrator (also known as an independent accountant, accounting referee, and independent auditor)
- Expert report preparation and testimony
DLA’s multidisciplinary teams work closely with attorneys representing firms, boards, and executives. We respond quickly and efficiently to allegations, which include whistleblower complaints, and investigations regarding fraud or corruption intentionally committed for financial profit. DLA’s experts rely on their extensive experience in investigations, forensic accounting, analysis, reporting, statement preparation, and expert witness testimony to offer solutions to a variety of serious and potentially illegal activities.
DLA litigation professionals provide objective and reliable assistance to counsel and their clients, whether serving as a testifying or consulting expert on complex financial and accounting issues. We help attorneys identify and quantify issues and efficiently bring their cases to a satisfactory conclusion. Our business valuation experts and forensic accountants advise counsel on diverse aspects of litigation matters.
DLA business valuation professionals perform a thoughtful and thorough analysis, utilizing professional skepticism, to obtain a deep understanding of the unique characteristics and prospects of each business ownership interest. We apply recognized generally accepted valuation methodologies to deliver a highly credible business valuation. Our professionals have valued majority and minority business
interests to address a wide range of valuation needs, including:
- Matrimonial dissolution
- Shareholder dispute
- Gift and estate taxes
- Damage calculations
- Purchase or sale of an ownership interest
- Buy-sell agreements
The nature of the service required dictates the method, governing rules, and industry standards under which we operate. Our seasoned, certified, and experienced valuation experts fully understand the applicable accounting standards, case law, IRS regulations, AICPA principles, and other regulatory requirements they must abide by. We are committed to providing our clients with sound recommendations that adhere to the highest professional standards.
At DLA, our experts utilize their specialized training and experience to quantify damages due to commercial disputes such as partnership and shareholder disputes, and class action lawsuits. Working closely together, we advise both plaintiff and defense attorneys, and their clients, regarding the calculation of lost profits and other commercial damages.
Whether the matter is a minor business dispute or large and complex litigation, we always start by estimating damages to design a case strategy that makes sense. From the initial document review to writing the expert report, our most senior experts are hands-on with all aspects of the case. We are responsive and respect litigation deadlines.
Our expert reports are persuasive, easy to follow and are fully supported by the case facts. Attorneys often can settle the case based on our written opinion, knowing that our report is trial-ready, should it be necessary. Our services include:
- Lost profits damages
- Business interruption claims
- Breach of contract
- Torturous interference
- Insurance claims
- Trademark violations
- Professional liability
- Shareholder disputes
- Breach of non-compete
- Fraud and embezzlement loss
- Forensic accounting
- ERISA litigation
- Class-action securities litigation
The dissolution of a marriage (divorce) can be challenging and emotionally charged for many reasons, and the associated financial issues cannot be overlooked. At DLA, our team stands ready to work closely with attorneys and their clients to effectively resolve all divorce-related financial disputes. Our specialists understand the complex and personal problems that come with divorce along with the stress on the parties involved, including the couple and the children.
Despite the emotional challenges that go along with divorce, DLA presents options regarding an individual’s rights to marital assets, whether they are subject to community property or equitable distribution rules. If a marital estate holds an interest in a closely held business, it is customary to have the business or business interest valued to aid in the proceedings. Our specialists can discern the various nuances and state-speciﬁc valuation-related issues to help streamline an otherwise arduous process.
For example, to fairly assign the marital assets and liabilities between the parties, consideration of the tax aspects of individually owning and/or selling each asset must be considered. Some situations are further complicated by ownership of closely held business interests of unknown value, often accompanied by suspicions of financial manipulation designed to misrepresent the income-generating capacity of the business.
We are responsive to project deadlines and stand ready to assist attorneys in the most complex litigation and valuation assignments. Choosing the right expert can potentially influence the outcome of a case. To secure their clients a winning strategy and the most creative solution for their case, the legal community turns to us as an experienced, sound, and cost-effective alternative to larger firms.
DLA professionals assist family law attorneys with quantifying the financial aspects of divorce proceedings, from the early stages of the matter all the way through trial.
Our expert services include:
- Business valuations
- Income analysis
- Marital net worth analysis
- Asset tracking and documentation
- Tax planning
- Lifestyle analysis
- After-tax alimony scenario calculations
- Development of settlement proposals
- Participation in mediation or settlement conferences
- Trial expert witness testimony
In addition to providing expert reports and testimony, we assist counsel with our evaluation of the opposing expert’s report, preparation of questions for deposition and trial, and settlement consultation designed to bring the case to a swift, fair and reasonable conclusion.
Our team works intimately with attorneys to ensure all needs are met. We are committed to providing litigation support services for family matters with the highest level of integrity and expertise, always acting in the best interest of our clients. Upon request, DLA will work as a jointly appointed, neutral expert in divorce proceedings, thereby saving time and costs and preserving the marital estate.
Meet the Experts
DAVID LANDAU, CPA, CVA
FOUNDER & CEO
KEVIN BALDWIN, CPA, ABV
Forensics, Valuation & Litigation Support
DAVID B. SMITH, CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA
Forensics, Valuation & Litigation Support
JASON ADDESSO, CVA
Forensics, Valuation & Litigation Support Group
Forensics, Valuation & Litigation Support (FVLS)
Cynthia L. Jones, CFA
Forensics, Valuation & Litigation Support Group