Expert Evidence: Armstrong v Alexandra Group Holdings Ltd

Forensic Accounting QLD

Commercial Damages

The independent forensic accounting expert report of Steven Ponsonby from Forensic Accounting QLD was pivotal in a case handed down in the District Court of Brisbane.

In the decision of Armstrong & Anor v Alexandra Group Holdings Ltd & Ors [2015] QDC 96 (6 May 2015), Forensic Accounting QLD was engaged to undertake a financial investigation arising from a dispute surrounding the terms and conditions of a loan agreement.  The loan agreement relied on by the parties in this matter included a number of inconsistencies between clauses in regards to the methodology for calculating interest, the payment of interest and whether the Defendants were in default under the agreement.

An initial forensic accounting report was prepared by Forensic Accounting QLD’s founding Director, Steven Ponsonby to assist the Plaintiff with resolution of the dispute between the parties in this matter.

A further detailed independent forensic accounting expert report was subsequently prepared to assist the Court with its determination in this matter.  In respect of Mr Ponsonbys’ involvement, District Court Judge Kingham summarised it very succinctly at paragraph 17 of the judgement:

“… The reports prepared by Mr Ponsonby were provided to Alexandra Group Holdings or their representatives. It is, therefore, uncontested evidence before the court. In the absence of evidence or argument to the contrary, I accept Mr Ponsonby’s calculations of the amount outstanding, including default interest…”.

The Plaintiffs were also awarded costs on an indemnity basis in accordance the loan agreement between the parties.

The full judgement can be accessed here.

This case highlights the importance of obtaining professional legal advice to ensure that loan agreements are succinctly written to minimise the risk of any ambiguities for all parties involved.

Steven Ponsonby from Forensic Accounting QLD is often called upon to provide an expert opinion in regards to a range of commercial matters including the quantification of outstanding loans and default interest.

Steven Ponsonby is a Chartered Accountant FCA, a Certified Fraud Examiner CFE and Insolvency Practitioner RITP and is the founding Director of Forensic Accounting Pty Ltd, a leading independent forensic accounting practice, providing forensic accounting services and expertise to a broad spectrum of clients across Australia.

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