Serious money is serious business. It can also mean serious anxiety. When large sums are on the line, you don’t just need to know the numbers, you need to know what is behind the numbers. Is that bright light coming from a dazzling opportunity or an approaching train? It takes keen instincts and individual attention to uncover both opportunities and pitfalls. Litigation can be both stressful and expensive. Do you have the experts on your team who will give it to you straight and have the credentials and experience to support their opinions?
Our family law services include:
• Valuing business ownership interests and applying our knowledge of appraisal theory, standards of value and Colorado case law in the unique realm of marital dissolution.
• Calculating and evaluating child support and maintenance proposals.
• Tracing Separate Property and using our training and expertise to organize data and present clear findings.
• Post decree accounting – with a keen eye to detail, we are able to assist with an analysis of what should have happened, what actually happened and who owes whom what.
• Executive compensation – we can determine the marital value of stock options and other equity awards and the income tax implications of division.
• Pension valuations – we have experience with public retirement funds as well as large corporate pension funds.
To determine value, whether in high-stakes litigation, wealth transfer, or for property division in marital dissolution, you need a perfect combination of expertise, depth of experience and impeccable preparation. You need the right people on your team – people you can count on. Add it all up: that’s the Lutz Zuber equation.
Expertise: the principal members of our team are credentialed in business valuation by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and the American Society of Appraisers. We have testified about valuation issues in district court, and presented on valuation topics to attorneys, accountants and other audiences.
Experience: informed judgment is a critical element of all valuation projects and is developed over time. The principals of our firm have been involved in valuation projects for almost three decades. From buy-ins, to buy-outs, property division, estate planning and litigated disputes, we have done it all. Our valuation practice mirrors the front-range business environment with a special focus on services industries and professional practices, but we have valued ownership interests in virtually every economic sector.
Preparation: within the scope of the project as defined by you, us and the circumstance, we drill down into the heart of the issue or dispute. There is no cookie cutter used here. Every project is unique and we treat it that way.
Every conflict does not have to end up in court. Many disputes are settled by arbitration, mediation or negotiation. Our skill set includes analyzing financial, accounting and valuation issues from all angles, inside out and upside down and proposing solutions that lead to balanced solutions for all parties. Our team is retained to assist in arbitration, mediation, collaborative law and matters pre-litigation to lend expertise, clarify, explain and ultimately to help settle disputes without litigation.
As with any important or complex issue, the solution is only as good as the information gathered and analysis performed. Many times we are engaged to assist in financial/valuation or accounting matters that are not ancillary to a litigated dispute. Examples include assisting with negotiations around a buy in or buy out; calculated values for potential acquisitions; review of valuation clauses in buy-sell agreements.
Q. What is forensic accounting?
A. Forensic accounting is the use of accounting skills to investigate fraud or embezzlement and to analyze financial information for use in legal proceedings.
Q. What is litigation support?
A. Litigation support is a subset of Forensic Accounting and can include using accounting, financial or valuation skills in a civil lawsuit, family law matter or probate. It also encompasses project management, document management and technology applications, also within a legal context.
Q. How are our services priced?
A. Most assignments are based on the hours we spend multiplied by our hourly rates. We generally require a retainer to begin work, in the amount of one-third to one half of the estimated project or first phase of the project (if there are multiple phases).
Q. How long do projects last?
A. Most valuations in a non-litigated or divorce context take six weeks from the time substantially all information is received. Litigated projects follow the time line of litigation, which varies, case by case.
Q. How are projects staffed?
A. We staff projects for maximum efficiency and value and every project has significant partner involvement, from beginning to end.
Q. Do you appraise real property?
A. No, our valuation work applies only to ownership interests and intangible assets. We do not value anything you can “touch,” including real estate, art, jewelry and so forth.
Q. What should I expect?
A. We communicate with you and your advisors to assess the situation and scope our work to fit the needs of the project and your budget. We problem solve, give it to you straight and work to find reasonable and supportable solutions. You should expect ongoing communication throughout the project and timely return of phone calls, emails or texts.
Q. Do you perform other accounting services?
A. No, we do not prepare income tax returns, nor do we provide attest or bookkeeping services.
Q. How do we work?
A. No two situations are ever the same and we customize each engagement for your specific needs. Our experience informs how we work with you and your other advisors to provide what is warranted in your unique situation.
Q. Who do we work with?
A. We work with clients who need our services for divorce, valuation, or litigation and their complete advisor team including attorneys, financial advisors, accountants and other experts. Our clients can be individuals, small businesses, or larger corporate entities. Similarly, we work with sole practitioner attorneys as well as with some of the largest firms in Colorado.
Our industry and sector experience reflects the variety of businesses most commonly found in Colorado including service businesses, professional practices (law, accounting, architecture and health care), ranching and farming operations, oil and gas, technology, construction and retail. Given our depth of experience, we have worked in most industry sectors, even those that are not predominate in Colorado.