Nancy Fannon speaks on the valuation process of S Corporations for divorcing spouses—as well as the attorneys at the National Conference on Divorce.
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Nancy Fannon is the Partner in Charge of Litigation Services at Meyers, Harrison & Pia Valuation and Litigation Support, LLC, a firm specializing in business valuation, economic damages, and litigation support services. Nancy has more than 25 years of professional valuation and damages experience, and is frequently retained to provide expert witness services regarding the amount of financial damages relating to the lost profits or the loss of a business or segment of a business; disgorgement of profits related to claims of infringement of intellectual property; the value of a business; and other financial matters. She has frequently been appointed as a jointly retained appraiser in valuation disputes. Family Lawyer Magazine Editorial Director Diana Shepherd interviewed her for this special podcast.
DS: Could you tell us about the topics you will be presenting at the 2016 AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce?
NF: I will be presenting on two topics. The first one is called “The Valuation Nightmare of S Corporations for Divorcing Spouses and the Attorneys who Advise Them.”
Many people getting divorced, including their attorneys, are not really aware of the issues surrounding S Corporations and how to value them. It’s been a very controversial issue in the tax courts, in the Delaware Chancery Courts, and it has now spilled over to the divorce courts as well. It’s an issue that I think people will be surprised to learn is often the most material issue in evaluation. However, if your appraiser doesn’t speak to you specifically about how they go about calculating the value of an S Corporation – say compared to a C Corporation – you could have two appraisers come up with a value that is 67% different, just for the fact of being an S Corporation, compared to a C corporation.
Courts have had a very difficult time interpreting this in large part because experts have failed to bring good evidence to the courts to explain the issue. So, what I’m going to talk about is what this so-called S Corporation issue is all about; how the courts have interpreted it; and what they need to convince them of the proper way to value an S Corporation.
Can you tell us a little bit about your second presentation?
The second presentation I will be doing is a panel presentation with Jay Fishman, Chris Mercer, and Ron Seigneur, with James Hitchner as a moderator. We will be discussing the many controversial areas in the valuation of privately-held businesses for divorce purposes, and what our take is on each one of those issues.
What can delegates attending either one of your presentations expect to learn?
With the session on S Corporations delegates can expect to learn how the courts have handled S Corporation valuation, some of the errors made – really relating the practitioners in their valuations, and then what they should know and do about it so their clients can be properly advised.
With respect to the panel that I’m on, participants can learn about issues that courts have a difficult time grappling with, and that they can expect their expert may take a different view than the expert on the other side. They can also hear how sort of a consensus has developed about how to handle some of these issues.
Are your presentations going to be geared more towards attorneys or financial professionals, or a mixture of both?
They will be a mixture of both. Of course, the attorneys have to count on their valuation professionals to be able to do the valuation, but I think it also makes sense for the attorney to have a good understanding of what the issues are, because in the panel and the S Corp session that I’m doing there’s so much confusion about how these issues are handled. The attorney needs to understand how their particular expert chooses to handle these issues so that they understand the implications for their valuations.
There are a myriad of legal and financial conferences that take place every year. Why would you suggest that someone who is working in the divorce field attend this one, rather than one of the other ones out there?
Well, I think for divorce valuation practitioners and divorce attorneys, this really is the seminal conference they should attend. The information is particularly geared toward those financial issues that their clients will be facing in a divorce setting.
The other very significant reason for attending is the networking opportunities this conference affords. It’s one of the only mixtures of attorneys and experts at the same conference, so delegates get to hear both sides of the issue: both the legal implications as well as the economic implications of how these financial issues could affect their clients.
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Z. Christopher Mercer shares his presentation on the buy-sell agreements for the AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce in New Orleans.
Jay Fishman will be a presenter at the upcoming AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce in New Orleans on May 19 – 20, 2016 at the Sheraton. Listen to Jay discuss the benefits of attending the Conference and what he will be presenting on.