Here are some highlights of my methodology when approaching cases that require special efforts and tools to uncover concealed assets upon the non-amicable termination and distribution of joint assets of different kinds of partnerships; ranging from spouses and business individuals to those between commercial entities. A commonality of most partnerships is that partners often have dissimilar skills as well as different information regarding the going-ons in their partnerships. One might manage the partnership's joint assets and as such possesses the trust of the other partners who might focus on other aspects of the partnership. Only when these partnerships end in a non-amicable way is there a struggle for control of these assets as they might be well concealed.
When red lights start flashing these 'naïve' partners hope to get their fair share of the partnership's assets, and we - their service providers - must work creatively, quickly, efficiently and discreetly to best assist our clients to best ensure ALL assets are fairly distributed in any agreement that is reached.
Interrogation: First - Listen; Then - Cross examine
Often, when clients approach they tend to focus on one specific occurrence that caused the dispute and needs our attention. We, in turn, tend to follow their lead and focus on that single event and to the data relevant to it. This is exactly where many mishaps occur. We must look for hints of concealment and shine a light for our clients to all possible concealed assets. To do so properly, it's essential to conduct a deep and thorough interrogation of our client.
During our clients' 'interrogation' it's crucial to obtain all the relevant background.
Encourage your client to provide more than just mere facts, such as dates, sums etc., but also information pertaining to their partner's habits, hobbies, tendencies, interests, additional business investments, relationships, destinations of frequent travels, names of lawyers, accountants, advisors and bankers who they encounter, including relevant banks and financial institutions where hidden assets might be, drinking friends and all other people who have any kind of interaction with the client and/or their partner/s. Collect any available information that will enable you to discover hidden assets.
It's crucial to listen carefully, this can be a very tedious task since the stories are not always coherent and almost never in chronological order. If possible record and arrange for...