Dispute Resolution

As a business, legal proceedings are something you really don’t need, but it is impossible to fully eliminate the possibility. A third party, such as a supplier, subcontractor, employee or customer, could claim compensation for damages from you. But equally, for example as a result of an unlawful act or breach of contract, you could file a claim against another party.

The claim may be an individual claim, but this could also be a collective claim.

Legal proceedings are time-consuming and generally do not form part of the day-to-day activities of a business. Hermes Advisory has the knowledge and experience to provide businesses with assistance and expertise (Litigation Support). If required, we can work on a case with your lawyer, whether in-house or external to your company.

In addition to claims for damages, financial disputes may arise in relation to transactions, such as the buyout of shareholders and staff settlements.

The experts at Hermes Advisory are often engaged as experts in legal proceedings. Taking account of the code of conduct for objectivity and expertise, we are able to professionally substantiate your claim for damages, which will give it added value when presented to a judge or arbitration committee. We also perform this role in the form of a second opinion if, as a company, you are faced with a claim for damages or an expert report that you do not agree with. Or, for example, if you are faced with an additional or revised tax assessment. Our critical assessment will significantly strengthen your position in the proceedings and prevent you from wrongly overpaying.

When parties are unable to resolve a dispute themselves and therefore submit this to court, financial disputes are often submitted to a legal expert. Our experts often fulfil this role and, in a case like this, know what is expected of them.

The specialists of Hermes Advisory are forensic chartered accountants and/or valuation experts, and they are listed in the Dutch National Register of Judicial Experts (LRGD) and/or are registered with courts as experts. They can provide you with assistance and expertise in preventing or settling financial disputes. Preferably, of course, before these are referred to court, but we can also assist you in legal proceedings. We have an extensive network of legal specialists and lawyers whose services we can engage if required, and in consultation with you. Our competencies include advising on settlement negotiations.

Ruling of the District Court, Northern Region of the Netherlands, 27-10-2015

In the given circumstances, the district court is of the opinion that the cash statement prepared by the reporting officers wrongly did not take into account an amount of € 461,416.00 in cash receipts from the sale of snacks from a mobile snack bar to customers at events; these amounts were available for out-of-pocket expenses. This leads to the conclusion that the wrongly obtained advantage over the period 2006 to 2008 should be estimated at: € 885,161.00 minus € 461,416.00, which is € 423,745.00.

Following the publication of the expert report by Toxopeus–de Vries, the wrongly obtained advantage in this confiscation case was reduced to € 423,745.00.

The court comments as follows about the expert report:

The court agrees with the expert’s carefully substantiated conclusions and is of the opinion that these cash sales through the mobile snack bar to customers at events should still be included in the cash statement in order to arrive at an actual estimate of the wrongly obtained advantage. In this regard, the court finds that, with respect to the size of turnover achieved through the mobile snack bar, the expert Toxopeus–De Vries concluded that it has doubts about the correctness of the income from the sale of snacks, that was provided in the information supplied by Mr [surname], whose administration office checked the records of [Trading company] for the years 2006 to 2008, at the request of the convicted party, focusing in particular on cash sales of snacks. The expert carefully substantiated the conclusion, making it transparent. The court therefore accepts this conclusion. In this respect, the court has taken note that, with the method used by the expert Toxopeus–De Vries, the estimated total revenue differs slightly from the total amount of revenue shown in the notebook and that, according to that expert’s method, account should be taken of a percentage for waste and the fact that some of the purchased snacks are resold to other businesses. In this respect, the court has also realised that an estimated percentage of 180% is assumed for storage. Nevertheless, the court deems that the estimated outcome of the method used by the expert can be used to verify whether the information provided by the convicted party in the notebook is sufficiently reliable to be able to include it legally in the estimate of the wrongly obtained advantage. For more information, we refer you to the ruling at rechtspraak.nl

“As a business, legal proceedings are something you really don’t need, but it is impossible to fully eliminate the possibility.”

– Inge Lisa Toxopeus – Partner Hermes Advisory

(Forensic) Valuation

Valuation is an art in itself! The valuation of companies or interests in those companies, goes beyond adding up balance sheet items after these may or may not have been corrected with the available hidden reserves. An extensive study of the company and the market in which it operates are part of this valuation, which is ultimately reflected in a calculation model prepared specifically for each company. As well as being accountants, our specialists are valuation experts and have extensive experience in this field.

We use this expertise in the sales processes of companies (Mergers Acquisitions – M&A Process), but also in the event of a buy-out or buy-in of a shareholder. Forensic valuation goes one stage further. This is the valuation of an asset or business if there is a legal dispute. Forensic Valuation is a further specialisation within the valuation profession. In the event of a dispute about a valuation, important information required for the valuation is often missing. As a result of the lack of this information, it is all the more important for well-substantiated scenarios to be determined by an independent third party. This is the case, amongst other things, if a company, along with its administrative paperwork is destroyed by a fire and the loss/damage must be ascertained, but also if there is a disagreement between businesses and the business that manages the administration does not wish to relinquish the administration (in its entirety). Even under these circumstances, the experts of Hermes Advisory are able to issue a targeted and effective valuation report.

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