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I am a partner in HW Fisher Forensic, the firm’s forensic accounting department. I joined HW Fisher in 1997 as a trainee and became part of the forensic team in 2000.
Intellectual property work is a key focus of my role, particularly licensee royalty audits where I work with clients to maximise revenue from their licensing agreements. Our royalty and licensing offering has been developed and honed over the past 20 years, making us a world-leader in this field – a reflection of the technical ability, knowledge and expertise of our talented team.
My clients are active across a wide range of business sectors, from car manufacturers, fashion houses and entertainment conglomerates, to sports teams, authors, character merchandising, brand extension, TV, book publishing and household brands. We audit most of my clients’ licensee portfolios on a cyclical basis across the world, generating newfound revenue many times the fees we charge, a significantly beneficial return on investment.
My forensic accounting work also involves tracing the proceeds of crime or money laundering, contractual disputes, share valuations, fraud investigations and professional negligence cases. I am often instructed to be an expert witness and have taken part in many mediations and court appearances.
In recent years, my work has included many cases involving the quantification of consequential losses arising from the mis-selling of interest rate swaps and other hedging products sold by banks.
A recent highlight is an audit licensing programme we ran for a major client. We conducted audits of 32 of our client’s licensees across the world. These were companies that were licensed to sell products using the branding of our client, for which they paid royalties.
The 32 audits discovered £3.5m worth of unpaid royalty income as well as other significant contractual breaches. In the case of 24 audits, the licensee paid the audit fee, rather than my client, as the amount of income they had failed to report was above the contractual 5% error threshold. In all cases we worked closely with the licensee to ensure that the audit did not adversely impact the relationship with our client.
ICAEW forensic accountant
Licensing Industry Merchandising Association