The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Frenkels Forensics Chartered Accountants is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Frenkels Forensics Chartered Accountants
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | FRENKELS FORENSICS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
Founder John Frenkel
John Frenkel set up his practice in Manchester in 1980,
providing specialist accounting advice for clients involved
in various types of litigation. After relocating to London
in 2007, the firm rebranded as Frenkels Forensics and now
operate as a dedicated forensic practice, advising public bodies,
solicitors, insurers and direct clients on a wide range of issues.
Usually carrying out matters related to litigation, they also
complete non-litigation work, such as business interruption
claims, pension-related claims and due diligence. Founder
John Frenkel discusses the transformative power of artificial
intelligence and what he has learnt from his time in the sector.
I established the practice in 1980, long before the term “forensics” entered the
general vernacular. For the first 25 years, we provided forensic services and general
accounting advice, and we stopped general accountancy work when we relocated.
When we moved to London, we wanted to develop the practice and already had a
national presence, having started to operate in this arena at an early date. My son
Vitek joined me as a three-year post-qualification chartered accountant, and he has
now been a partner for many years. We are a team of 15, including Vivian Cohen,
who is also a partner in the practice.
Our work typically involves high-value matters, and our three partners are ably
assisted by a team of highly experienced managers and analysts. We strive to
produce reports that are compliant with the Civil Procedures Rules, and we aim to
ensure that these reports can be understood by those who do not have our grasp
of accountancy. We are regularly complimented on the content and clarity of our
reports. We have satellite offices around the country, with our greatest presences
outside London being in Manchester and Birmingham.
Lessons I have learnt in the sector
As we usually only get involved once money has been lost, it is easy for us to be
wise after the event. However, so much more could and should be done by clients to
protect themselves from the perils that await them in the marketplace. Every business
and organisation should have strong financial controls to try to prevent individuals
from taking advantage of, or stealing from, their companies. The solution is sound
advice from a trusted accountant as to how your business should be run, and, if it
goes wrong, to make sure you have some recourse against your adviser. All entities
should consider insurance against employee theft, and this cover is widely available.
Before parting with money and investing in any business, it is vital that due diligence
is undertaken and robust independent professional advice is received. I have seen
countless cases in which individuals have invested without any real idea as to how
this money will be deployed, controlled or spent. The cost of retrieving this money
AT A GLANCE
FRENKELS FORENSICS CHARTERED
»Founder: John Frenkel
»Established in 1980
»Based in London, Manchester
»Services: Specialist advice on
financial issues for clients
involved in litigation
»No. of employees: 15
»Turnover has increased by 40
per cent since 2015
»New AI service to calculate
personal injury losses, the
Frenkels Calculator launched
41FRENKELS FORENSICS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
is certainly much more than any due
diligence would have cost at the outset.
Formal agreements ought to be
entered into before the investment
is made. This particularly applies to
business arrangements with family or
friends, where informality is prevalent.
Prenuptial agreements are essential,
even though the law is still unclear on
their enforceability. The announcement
from the prime minister concerning civil
partnership agreements will provide
further opportunities for couples to
plan ahead in the event of separation.
Moving into AI
Technology can enhance services in
countless ways. We undertake a large
amount of personal injury work, where
claimants suffer financial losses due to
time off work or often can never return.
These cases also include dependency
claims in which the primary earner of a
household dies suddenly.
Much of this work needs bespoke
financial analysis, but the number
crunching of projected net earnings
and actual net earnings requires good
legal, financial and tax knowledge.
This also applies to short-term losses,
where employees are unable to work
for smaller time periods. The desire
for costs for personal injury claims to
be reduced drives the need for claims
handlers to embrace AI to carry out
the number-crunching work while still
leaving the difficult aspects of a claim
to the human element.
To this end, we have developed our
own online personal injury calculator:
the Frenkels Calculator. This helps
solicitors, barristers and insurers
with the time-consuming work of
producing court-ready loss of earnings
schedules, based on the correct legal
principles as to how such claims
should be quantified and presented.
Our platform is helping practitioners
across the personal injury spectrum to
make sure that their calculations are
prepared accurately throughout their
organisations. It is helping insurers
to settle cases more quickly and
accurately, and it is also identifying
those cases where the wrong legal
principles have been claimed.
This service links with our progress
towards becoming a fully encompassing
service for clients. We aim to assist
them not only with the large, complex,
bespoke cases but also with the
high-volume, low-value cases, helping
solicitors and insurers to use their own
staff to handle cases that do not need
forensic accountants. We also provide
support services, meaning that we
advise handlers on how to assess their
cases on a very cost-effective basis.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our
work, and this always has been, and
always will be, our best marketing tool.
Our team have well over 150 years’
experience in handling the full array
of forensic accountancy work. As a
team, we learn from each other, priding
ourselves on the focus and attention
we give to client needs. We are well
placed to provide a professional service
for clients facing life-changing events,
such as the prospect of prison, major
financial gains or losses, or coping with
the trauma of severe personal injury,
bereavement or divorce. All of our
team are inherently empathetic, as we
recognise that the service we provide
is not just about the money. We listen
to clients and guide them through the
challenges they face in litigation.
We do embrace technology, as our
Frenkels Calculator demonstrates, but
we always try to focus on the human
element of our work. These principles
are our guide, and we are sure that they
will result in there always being a niche
for a boutique forensic accountancy
practice that puts clients first.
– bringing clarity to
We are well
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone.
The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.
But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.
Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.
I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country.
British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review