Litigation support

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No company enters into an agreement expecting it to end in litigation. In business, however, disagreements can happen at any time, turning into a legal action which may sometimes have a significant impact on the company’s assets.

In terms of criminal law it is possible to observe an increase in charges brought for alleged financial crime, and for so-called “white collar crime”. Organisations can be involved in judicial investigations involving their management and employees or the company itself.

How we can help

The Litigation Support Team of PwC Forensic Services can assist you both in anticipating and avoiding potential litigation and in facing disputes appropriately.

We work together with organisations and their legal counsels in order to examine the origins and the merits of litigation, quantifying the potential damage to let them take the right decisions about how to act.

Our Litigation Support Team includes finance, accounting and management, corporate and valuation experts with experience in different industries. We have a wide range of experience in providing assistance during proceedings; we usually collaborate closely with legal counsels, from giving advice on strategy to acting as expert witnesses. We assist our clients and their legal counsels during court debates, providing expert testimony or during the examination of counterparties’ expert witnesses.

Our team has assisted clients and their legal counsels during investigations and proceedings launched not only by Italian regulators but also by foreign ones, such as the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice of the United States of America.

The Litigation Support Team provides the following services:

Commercial disputes and civil proceedings

Breach of contract and non-fulfilment of obligations, fraud, intellectual property infringement, and business interruption - disputes between companies can be enormously complex.

We work with our clients, and their legal counsels, throughout the whole process providing advice on financial and accounting data and on commercial and practical issues, to obtain the best result from every position.

We can help, at the investigation stage, in assessing and quantifying damages – whether from breach of contract, professional negligence, business interruption events, or failure to comply with supply obligations.

We provide expert reports which sum up documentary evidence to support briefs and deeds.

We can also analyse in detail claims filed and damages claimed by counterparties; we verify their validity and we assist in the collection of evidence and observations useful to reject claims.

When it is not possible to reach a settlement, we assist our clients during legal proceedings and we can also act as expert witnesses.

International arbitration

A recent study conducted by PwC in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London found that international arbitration is the best tool for cross-border dispute resolution, especially in the Energy & Utilities, Construction and Financial Services industries.

We can help you understand the value of your claims and collect documentary evidence before entering arbitration proceedings. PwC Italy is a member of the International Arbitration task force of PwC, which operates globally; it includes forensic accountants, engineers, fiscal experts and forensic technology experts who combine competences in international arbitration procedures and have significant experience in arbitration and disputes, in defining damages and losses and in the target industries.

In this context we can act as expert witnesses during proceedings with the Arbitration Chamber. Among our competences: quantification of financial damage, loss of earnings and business opportunity; financial, accounting and market analyses to support claims.

Tax assessments and investigations

We assist our clients and their legal counsels during judicial investigations of fiscal crimes or during controls by regulators; we help them establish and reconstruct facts, collect documentary evidence, quantify contested amounts.

We have extensive experience in assisting general counsels of companies and international groups, responding efficiently to allegations of relocation abroad, VAT fraud, incorrect determination of revenues and costs, rendering of non-existent services, etc.. We examine claims made by regulators and we verify their validity through factual investigations, accounting and financial analyses and business process analyses. The results of our work are always traceable, documented and illustrated in our reports.

As independent advisors, we are able to identify in an objective way which elements may be useful for the defence and we know how to substantiate them through available evidence, so that our reports may be filed in court to support statements of defence.

Assisting judicial authorities

As technical consultants we have assisted public prosecutors in various Prosecutor’s Offices in Italy, during criminal, fiscal, corporate and bankruptcy investigations.

Technical consulting activities include:

  • tracing, and analysing documentary evidence for, complex and potentially illegal transactions from an economic, financial and accounting perspective
  • identifying critical aspects and possible personal and corporate responsibilities
  • quantifying the damage and identifying misappropriated assets

We sum up the findings of investigations in a technical report, including the necessary documentary and legislative references.

Moreover, we help public prosecutors during trials, performing a critical analysis of statements of defence and assisting with the examination of documents and expert witnesses.

Our techniques and methodologies are derived from the experience we have gathered working with judicial authorities both in Italy and abroad (for example the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice of the United States of America).