Expert for the Claimants:
In the course of a dispute heard at the English High Courts — Symrise AG (ANOR) – and – Baker & McKenzie (A Firm)(ANOR) — Tim Giles gave evidence on losses arising from tax liabilities resulting from allegedly negligent advice. The Claimant, a German entity, claimed losses from tax payments made by an indirect Mexican subsidiary. The assessment of losses was therefore complicated by a multi-level corporate structure across Europe and Mexico and the financial distress of the subsidiary company.
In the case of Symrise AG’s interest in its Mexican subsidiary, the following were points that were in dispute between Tim Giles and the expert for the Claimants:
- The impact of substantial indebtedness of a subsidiary on the value of a parent company’s equity interest in the subsidiary.
- The appropriate discount rate to apply given the time between the alleged negligence and the potential impact of tax payments on dividends to the parent.
- The appropriate market and country risk factors to apply to the discount rate given the business risk and country risk of the subsidiary.
- The impact of complex corporate structures on the valuation of group subsidiaries.
Mr Justice Burton found “the expert evidence of Mr Giles was in my judgment entirely persuasive” and concluded that he “preferred the expert opinion of Mr Giles on all matters”.
Once again, this case highlights the importance of using an expert that has a deep understanding of financial economic theory and the ability to explain technical concepts successfully to a non-technical audience.