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Experts at The Brattle Group have extensive experience advising clients on financial accounting and reporting, disclosures, regulatory accounting, managerial and cost accounting, forensic accounting, and auditing.

Our experts have testified in, or consulted on, matters involving Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); disclosures with regard to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines; audit and review procedures with regard to Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS); and the adequacy of internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR). Areas of research have included revenue recognition; cost allocations; the timing and amount of asset write-offs; allowance for loan losses; accounting for derivatives, including repurchase agreements; guarantees; fair value reporting; consolidation; off balance sheet accounting; and pensions.

Our expertise in forensic accounting includes the reconstruction of financial records and the tracing of transactions from source documents. We address both liability and damages issues related to securities class actions, internal investigations, antitrust litigation, tax controversies, international arbitrations, M&A disputes, intellectual property disputes, and breaches of contract. Our clients include law firms, large corporations, Big 4 accounting firms, and U.S. government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the SEC, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Our Focus

  • Reporting Entity Liability
  • Auditor Liability
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Restatement and Misstatement
  • Disclosure Adequacy and Information Materiality
  • Regulatory Accounting
  • Managerial and Cost Accounting
  • Internal Controls
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Causation and Damages

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Accounting practice.

SemGroup
A Brattle principal was retained by SemGroup’s litigation trustee. We modeled the SemGroup founder’s oil and gas derivatives trading business, and evaluated the damages caused by PricewaterhouseCoopers’s alleged breach of fiduciary duty as an auditor. The case was settled.
Global Crossing
On behalf of the Board of Directors for Global Crossing, Brattle reviewed the business purposes of the company’s fiber optic capacity lease transactions, conducted forensic analysis of the associated accounting records, and reviewed SEC disclosure regarding Global Crossing’s pro forma accounting. Brattle also examined the market reaction to the company’s various disclosures.
Enron
On behalf of Deutsche Bank, Brattle analyzed Enron’s special purpose vehicle transactions, the associated off-balance sheet debt, Enron’s securities disclosure, and stock and bond valuations. In the adversary proceedings, Brattle sponsored two testifying experts to opine on the accounting of certain structured transactions involving Deutsche Bank, and analyzed the transactions’ impact on Enron’s key financial ratios and their potential contribution to Enron’s credit downgrade and ultimate bankruptcy. The case was settled in Deutsche Bank’s favor.
Refco
In several suits against Ernst & Young (EY) brought by Refco’s litigation trustee, Brattle was retained by EY’s counsel to defend against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty over EY’s role as the tax preparer. We performed forensic analyses of the tax returns and the audited financial statements of various Refco entities, and analyzed whether the alleged breach of fiduciary duty may have delayed a more timely disclosure of Refco insiders’ wrongdoings, and ultimately contributed to the brokerage’s demise. The case was dismissed.
Auditor liability
In a class action matter alleging accounting fraud and auditor negligence regarding the accounting for the value of certain commodity contracts and hedging positions, Brattle reviewed audit work papers to understand how the auditor had validated entries regarding the reporting company’s energy trading assets and liabilities. We identified several misclassifications of assets and liabilities, and a key area where the auditor failed to provide any validation of the company’s valuation methods. The case was settled.
Allocation of corporate overhead
For a construction firm whose contract with the Government of Pakistan was terminated, Brattle estimated the lost profit from the termination, which involved the assessment of future costs for the project and specifically the allocation of corporate overhead. We considered the standard practice of overhead allocation for construction companies as well as guidelines provided in the contract to arrive at a reasonable allocation.
Experts
Principals
Academic Advisor & Other Outside Experts
Shannon W. Anderson
Academic Advisor
University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management
View Bio
Peter Easton
Outside Expert
University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
View Bio
John Ellingsen
Outside Expert
Ellingsen Consulting
View Bio
Gordon Klein
Outside Expert
University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management
View Bio
Edward Maydew
Academic Advisor
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
View Bio
Roman L. Weil
Outside Expert
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
View Bio
Publications
Book
Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation
2018
Peter Easton, Mary Lea McAnally, Greg Sommers, and Xiao-Jun Zhang
Published by Cambridge Business Publishers LLC, Chicago. First Edition, 2008, Second Edition, 2010, Third Edition, 2013, Fourth Edition, 2015, Fifth Edition, 2018.
Book
Financial Accounting for MBAs
2018
Peter Easton, Robert Halsey, Mary Lea McAnally, and John Wild
Published by Cambridge Business Publishers LLC, Chicago. First Edition, 2003, Second Edition, 2005, Third Edition 2008, Fourth Edition, 2010, Fifth Edition 2013, Sixth Edition, 2015, Seventh Edition, 2018.
Article
The Do's And (Mostly) Don'ts Of Non-GAAP Measures
March 03, 2017
Published in Law360

In a Law360 article, Brattle Principal Adoria Lim and Associate Chi Cheng studied the correspondence between numerous companies and the SEC to identify and categorize the SEC’s hot buttons that may lead to enforcement actions, including litigation.

Article
Non-GAAP Measures: The SEC Awakens
December 22, 2015
Published in Practice Points, a publication of the ABA's Securities Litigation Committee
Article
The unaccounted cost of accounting – sounding terms in purchase agreements
December 2015
Published in the December 2015 issue of Financier Worldwide
Article
What Makes Securities Class Actions with Accounting Allegations Different?
2011
Elaine Harwood, Adoria Lim, and Laura Simmons
Published by the American Bar Association
News & Knowledge
August 22, 2017
Bente Villadsen to Participate in EEI and AGA Introduction to Public Utility Accounting Courses

Brattle Principal Bente Villadsen will present at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and American Gas Association’s (AGA) Introduction and Advanced Public Utility Accounting Courses, taking place August 21-24, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN.

March 03, 2017
Non-GAAP Measures: Do's and (Mostly) Don'ts

In a new Law360 article, Brattle Principal Adoria Lim and Associate Chi Cheng studied the correspondence between numerous companies and the SEC to identify and categorize the SEC’s hot buttons that may lead to enforcement actions, including litigation.

February 22, 2016
Brattle Economists Author Law360 Article on New Accounting Standards' Impact on Litigation

Brattle Principal Adoria Lim and Associate Chi Cheng have authored an article for Law360 on the ongoing changes in the U.S. accounting standards initiated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and their impact on litigation.

December 22, 2015
Adoria Lim Comments on Non-GAAP Measures in ABA's Practice Points Publication

Brattle Principal Adoria Lim contributed to Practice Points, a publication of the ABA’s Securities Litigation Committee, on the use of non-GAAP measures.