• Specialist Forensic Services

    Discover our full range specialist forensic accounting services

Specialist Forensic services

There are situations that call for more specialised forensic accounting skills and services. You can rely on us to provide any or all of the following service;

Competition and Anti-Trust Services

BDO’s Competition and Anti-Trust services team brings together a unique skillset critical to dealing with competition and anti-trust matters. Our expertise covers economics, competition economics, econometrics and monitoring of trustees.

We are committed to taking the time to understand our clients, their businesses and the markets they operate in. We use our industry experience and knowledge and the combined skills of the Forensic Services team to deliver the right services to our clients.

Our clients include both corporates, and specifically their legal teams as well as law firms and legal advisors.

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Anti-trust services

Our team investigates and analyses regulated industries, assisting corporate clients and law firms in responding to various regulatory issues. We help our clients to understand and quantify the impact of regulatory policies (such as price caps, cost orientation and regulated cost of capital) and breaches in that policy by regulated entities. Our forensic accountants and economists provide analysis of regulatory pricing, combined with a detailed understanding of regulatory accounting.

Our Forensic Technology team can assist firms in preparing for and reacting to dawn raids. We provide training ahead of and system reviews following raids by competition authorities.

For firms who have sought and achieved disclosure, we provide document hosting and review. We use the leading processing software to allow indexing and analysis of the large data volumes which are often the subject of disclosure in competition cases.

Our services include:

  • Market investigations
  • Cartel investigations
  • Pre-action pricing/competition analysis and estimates of damages quantum
  • Drafting assistance (letters before action, statements of claim, witness statements)
  • Calculation of quantum of loss
  • Advice and calculations on regulatory and regulatory accounting matters
  • Expert witness services
  • Independent opinions on competition/econometric matters
  • Providing technical assistance to other experts
  • Assistance at mediations and settlement negotiations

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Competition damages

We work to identify and quantify damages arising from anti-competitive behaviour, both collusive and unilateral. Our team applies established economic and econometric frameworks to develop counterfactual prices and determine the quantum of damages.

We can assist at all stages of the process of a legal team’s investigations into competition issues. We can help to identify companies which may have been affected by confirmed anti-competitive behaviour. We also investigate instances of suspected collusion in the markets which may affect their corporates.

Our team’s expertise lies presenting complex pricing analysis in a straightforward and understandable way to assist our clients and the courts. Our expert witnesses have provided evidence on cases involving collusion and abuse of dominance at the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal and the High Court.

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Expert witness

Our team has considerable experience of providing evidence in commercial dispute cases in Court and to arbitration tribunals throughout the world. Our expertise includes understanding the legal process and explaining the complexities of issues such as loss of profits, loss of value, wasted expenditure, contingent losses, loss of chance and professional negligence for the Court or tribunal to understand.

Our expert witnesses have provided expert opinions on quantum and professional negligence in hundreds of cases in civil and common law jurisdictions throughout the world. Supporting them is a team of specialists with forensic accounting and investigative skills and experts in most sectors from across the BDO network.

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Monitoring Trustee Services

When competition law issues are identified in the course of market investigations, anti-trust or merger proceedings, the companies concerned can be required to act. They will undertake to address any concerns competition authorities may have.  In some cases these actions may be self-regulated and self-reported.  The Competition authority requires the appointment of a Monitoring Trustee to oversee these arrangements and act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of authority to ensure compliance with the offered undertakings.

Our teams have experience both as monitoring trustees and in advising companies on how best to implement their commitments. We advise on clients on self-reporting or on working with the appointed monitoring trustee to achieve the appropriate outcome for all stakeholders. We work with a team of market and technical specialists across our UK and international networks.

We approach our monitoring obligations in a knowledgeable and impartial way, taking into account the unique circumstances and issues of each case.  We remain steadfastly independent on behalf of the regulator.  Our monitoring team is rarely faced with conflicts leading to issues of independence. This means that the regulator is able to have the utmost faith in our ability to carry out the required role. 

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Sale and Purchase Agreement Advisory

Our Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) Advisory team provide pre and post deal SPA-related advice to clients involved in mergers and acquisitions. Whether it is assisting clients in protecting their interests and optimising their positions pre-deal, or helping resolve post-deal disputes, our engagement leaders take a hands-on approach throughout.

Our expert advice is deployed at every stage in the transaction cycle from pre-deal evaluation and negotiation of SPA terms through to completion accounts, deferred consideration earn-out mechanisms and warranty & indemnity claims.  If necessary, where matters are not settled, we can act as expert witnesses.

We can also be appointed to the Independent Accountant’s expert determination role to resolve any post-deal dispute between the parties through a final and binding formal process.

Your SPA team will bring a breadth of sector and geographical experience relevant to your M&A challenge.  Our clients include multi-national corporations, UK listed companies, privately owned businesses, PE houses and owner managed businesses.  We will work with your management team and your legal advisers in delivering value adding advice.

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Financial Services Forensics

The complex nature of financial services and financial products requires a specialist forensic skill set. Our financial services forensics team provides litigation support, valuation and advisory services to clients in the financial sector. We have experience of acting as expert witness in commercial disputes, valuation of financial products as part of both commercial disputes and regulatory investigations, and advising clients in respect of market convention and risk management best practice. 

Our work relates to a range of complex financial products including structured finance and structured credit products (eg RMBS, CMBS, ABS and CDOs), derivatives, illiquid cash bonds/loans, leveraged loans, mortgage portfolios and hedge funds. 

We provide expert witness, investigation and advisory services in respect of matters including:

  • Derivatives mis-selling
  • LIBOR manipulation and market distortion 
  • Valuation of financial assets in the event of post-transaction disputes
  • Investigations into trading portfolios and identification of risk factors
  • Advisory services in respect of regulatory investigations, in particular in respect of valuation methodology 
  • Investigation into fraudulent use of financial products 
  • Ratings process and procedures for CDOs
  • Market trend analysis
  • Market and credit risk management

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Corporate Intelligence

Our Corporate Intelligence team offer both a ‘proactive’ and a ‘reactive’ suite of services with genuinely worldwide reach. Our key ‘proactive’ service encompasses various levels of Integrity Due Diligence (“IDD”) investigation on your potential business partners, running from very in-depth work in the context of a prospective acquisition, joint venture or strategic partnership; through similar work on suppliers, distributors, sales agents or senior hires; to work more limited in scope for the purpose of fulfilling regulatory or other compliance obligations. In conjunction with in-depth IDD work, we are also able to undertake more macro-level sector-focused Country Risk Analysis.

On the ‘reactive’ side, the Corporate Intelligence team plays a major role in many investigations of suspected fraud, corruption, money laundering or other malfeasance, working hand in glove with our Forensic accounting investigations and Forensic Technology teams.

The other major ‘reactive’ service area is investigations in situations of commercial dispute, where Corporate Intelligence work can be crucial in bolstering claims made by our client’s side and/or in casting doubt upon or even disproving other side claims. The second principal role of Corporate Intelligence on disputes is in asset tracing and recovery, whether post-judgment or at the outset of a case to assist in a decision on whether or not to litigate.

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Professional Negligence

Our specialist Professional Negligence team comprises leading advisers on auditing and accounting negligence cases in the UK and in overseas jurisdictions. Our team includes practitioners with recent audit and accounting backgrounds, many of whom act as expert witnesses and mediators.

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