Business Valuation Law News


Valuing goodwill in divorce: State-by-state breakdown of enterprise & professional goodwill jurisprudence

Appraisers working on divorce cases know that goodwill is a fundamental concept they have to master. What makes it challenging is that divorce is a state matter and that different states adhere to different rules as to how to treat goodwill. BVR is excited to offer legal and valuation professionals a handy reference guide that includes a state-by-state breakdown of goodwill jurisprudence Read more >>

Appeals court upholds Lund buyout ruling and fair value determination

A protracted Minnesota buyout dispute involving the heirs to a local grocery store empire, Lunds & Byerlys, may have reached the end following a recent ruling from the state appeals court. The reviewing court upheld the trial court’s decision to grant the minority shareholder’s request for a buyout as well as the court's fair value determination. Read more >>

Post-trial briefs in Vinoskey ESOP trial point to fierce valuation fight

The DOL’s aggressive oversight strategy concerning ESOPs has led to a number of controversial lawsuits, including, most recently, the Acosta v. Vinoskey case, which, in the past few months, went to trial over the DOL's overpayment claim. Read more >>

2018 key valuation and damages cases

At year-end, Sylvia Golden, BVR’s executive legal editor, provides a roundup of the key business valuation and damages cases. Here are her choices for 2018. Some of the courts’ decisions have changed the legal landscape and are must-know cases. Other rulings are confined to the specific case, but they contain important lessons for appraisers of how to, and, more often, how not to, perform as a financial expert. Read more >>

Court upholds Section 1031 tax ruling, affirming appraisals were unreliable

In 2016, the U.S. Tax Court found for the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over a series of exchanges that Exelon, the tax payer, designated as section 1031 transactions. The court found these were not like-kind exchanges and expressed dismay over the appraisals the tax payer offered to support its claim for significant deductions. Read more >>

Split high court rules on classification of earnout payment in divorce dispute

The parties’ dispute over how to classify earnout payments related to the sale of a valuable marital asset recently prompted a split ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court. The issue was whether those payments were part of the sales consideration, as the wife argued, or represented future compensation to the husband, as the district court found. Read more >>

Failure to explain inputs gets expert excluded under Daubert

If more proof is necessary to show that courts across all legal fields dive deep into the details of valuation testimony, a recent damages case that arose in the context of a condemnation proceeding should do the trick. Read more >>

9 trends that impact a law firm’s value

Valuing law firms is very different from valuing other service businesses because they depend on professional reputation and skills, referrals, a high relative intangible asset base, licenses, client relationships, and price sensitivity. In BVR’s special report, What It’s Worth: Law Firm Value, editor Ron Seigneur tackles nine trends that influence the success and reputation of professional services and should be taken into account when valuing law firms. Read more >>

New Jersey closer to Daubert but still not a Daubert jurisdiction

A decision from the Supreme Court recently led New Jersey to adopt key Daubert factors for determining the admissibility of expert testimony, but the high court’s ruling also expresses a reluctance to fully embrace the Daubert standard. Read more >>

In Memory of Tax Court Judge David Laro

BVR is very sad to note that the eminent David Laro, a senior judge of the United States Tax Court, passed away on September 21. Valuators in particular looked up to Judge Laro for his unique understanding of the field of valuation and the role it plays in many tax cases. Read more >>

Alabama divorce court adopts result of calculation engagement

There is a split in the valuation community as to the merit of calculation engagements. As we recently reported, some valuators are adamantly opposed to doing them, whereas other appraisers believe that calculation engagements have a rightful place in their tool kit. Read more >>

Tennessee no longer mandates Delaware block method to determine fair value

For the longest time, Tennessee case law required trial courts presiding over dissenting shareholder actions to determine fair value by using the Delaware block method. In a recent ruling, the Tennessee Supreme Court struck down the requirement and Tennessee has joined the jurisdictions that allow "more modern" valuation approaches. Read more >>

DOL urges court to uphold judgment against trustee in Brundle ESOP litigation

In the ongoing Brundle v. Wilmington Trust ESOP saga, which is now in the appeals stage, the Department of Labor recently filed an amicus brief in support of the district court’s $29.8 million judgment against the ESOP trustee. The case arose out of a plan participant’s claim that the ESOP trustee breached its fiduciary duties to the plan by causing the ESOP to pay more than fair market value for the employer’s stock. Read more >>

ASA squarely aligns itself with trustee and appraiser in Brundle ESOP litigation

One of the most controversial ESOP cases, Brundle v. Wilmington Trust, has now entered the appeals court phase. In 2017, the district court found that the trustee had caused the plan to overpay by $29.8 million by failing to scrutinize the financial advisor’s obviously flawed valuation analysis and value conclusions. The trustee and valuator had strong ESOP credentials. Read more >>

Delaware Chancery explains logic behind use of market price in Aruba case

After the petitioners in a statutory appraisal action recently lost big, they undertook a multifaceted assault on the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision to use the unaffected market price as the indicator of value. Their motion for reargument went nowhere. Read more >>

Can a nonprofessional business have personal goodwill? Arkansas court explains

Arkansas is one of the many states that differentiate between enterprise goodwill and personal goodwill. The former is marital property and divisible at divorce; the latter is not. A question that has come up in recent years is whether the owner of a nonprofessional business can claim personal goodwill whose value is excludable from the marital estate. Read more >>

Three different court rulings on the use of discounts in the divorce context

Case law matters. Every month, BVLaw analyzes the most noteworthy court decisions dealing with valuation and damages issues. Subscribers should check out digests of three recent divorce rulings different state courts issued. All the cases dealt with the issue of whether it was appropriate to discount the owner-spouse’s interest in a closely held business. Read more >>

ESOP case alive (for now), but court limits damages testimony under Daubert

In a developing ESOP case, the government recently suffered a setback when the court agreed with the trustee that portions of the damages testimony the government’s expert proposed failed to hold up under the Daubert reliability prong. Read more >>

Tenn. Appeals Court says DLOM in divorce appropriate under facts of case

A recent Tennessee appeals court decision found that the trial court presiding over a drawn-out divorce had discretion to apply a marketability discount when it valued the owner-spouse’s interest in two companies in 2016. Read more >>

Court of Chancery disregards deal price where sales process is not ‘Dell compliant’

Recent rulings from the Delaware Supreme Court make it seem as if the discounted cash flow analysis has lost its top ranking among valuation methodologies in statutory appraisals involving publicly traded companies. Not exactly. Read more >>

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