Cipolla Recognized As Best Forensic Accountants…Since the Law Journal’s readership survey began in 2011 Cipolla & Co., LLC has been recognized as a top forensic accounting firm. Most recently the Cipolla firm garnered the most votes for the “Best Economic Damages Accounting Firm” (commercial, employment law and personal injury litigation) and Joseph Cipolla was voted the “Best Matrimonial Financial Expert.” The Cipolla firm was also voted one of the “Best Forensic Accounting Firms.” Many of us may think we’re the best or among the best at what we do; it’s particularly gratifying when the legal community at large judges you “the best.”
Best Forensic Accountants
Joseph Cipolla, CPA/ABV/CFF/PFS, CFE has been rendering forensic accounting services to both high-profile and lesser known clients and law firms for over 30 years, first as a Kovel tax consultant in the U.S. vs Aldo Gucci tax fraud investigation in the early 1980s while with Arthur Andersen’s New York City office, and then increasingly as an economic damages, valuation and financial expert, first in employment law matters, then in complex commercial litigation, business divorce, matrimonial and other matters. The Cipolla firm renders accounting, tax and advisory/forensic accounting and expert witness services in all types of litigation support matters, including white-collar crime and tax fraud defense, bankruptcy/insolvency, commercial litigation, employment-related litigation, litigation related to estates and trusts, FINRA and SEC litigation/arbitrations, professional malpractice defense litigation, litigation related to failed mergers and acquisitions, as well as personal injury litigation. Cipolla has traveled to Cairo and Lichtenstein in tax fraud defense matters for famous people, was a special consultant to the federal court in Newark’s litigation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (resulting in a $400 million settlement, which funded the Prudential Center). Cipolla has handled many high-profile matrimonial and business divorce matters for sports figures and others (including as valuation and damages expert for Mitch Model in Model v. Model), and he has testified as an expert witness in various federal and state courts and arbitrations throughout the country. In 2009, when brought on as an economic damages rebuttal expert on behalf of a sewerage authority to defend against a $2 million dollar claim, Cipolla uncovered $30 million of affirmative damages that had been suffered by the sewerage authority, which gave rise to a $30 million economic damages law suit, plus a related treble damages claim for consumer fraud; that suit is pending.
Forensic accounting is dynamic and each matter is unique; however, most engagements encompasses elements of law, finance, accounting and taxation, as well as industry knowledge, all of which requires research and analytical skills. To be the best with respect to all of these elements mandates a cohesive, experienced team of dedicated professionals. Moreover, the best forensic accountants have excellent analytical/critical thinking, communication, engagement management and strategic/tactical skills with an ability to quickly identify the pertinent facts and issues of a case, while grasping all its big picture dynamics. The reality is that very few forensic accountants possess a deep background in taxation or mergers & acquisitions. Even fewer possess all the attributes needed to be considered elite or among “the best.”
Cipolla & Co. regularly assists with the defense of accounting and legal malpractice claims, as well as affirmative and rebuttal damages assessments in complex commercial litigation matters, which are tried in the courts or by arbitration, often involving non-binding mediation which sometimes leads to a negotiated settlement. With respect to business-divorce and shareholder derivative claims, we often assess valuation using myriad standards, including fair value, fair market value, strategic or investment value, enterprise value, intrinsic value, book value with equitable adjustments, liquidation value, as well as consider discounts for lack of control, marketability, and key-man/key person, tax affecting of pass-through entities and other tax and non-tax factors, such as, reasonable compensation for owner-operators of businesses. We also have extensive experience with hedge fund and FINRA litigation, and estates and trusts litigation.
Cipolla is frequently a court-appointed neutral, acting, in effect, as a consultant to the court, which sometimes leads to an expert report and related testimony when the non-neutral financial forensic experts are far apart in terms of their opinions and conclusions. We perform this forensic accounting function in business divorce, matrimonial, commercial litigation, fraud investigations (including white-collar and tax investigations) and personal injury claims, as well as in Bankruptcy Court and insolvency proceedings. With respect to matrimonial litigation, we frequently value businesses and perform income and lifestyle analysis, including a savings component, to help determine alimony (including changed circumstances) and Pendente Lite support. We also frequently conduct net worth analysis and asset tracing to determine exempt or immune assets for purposes of equitable distribution.