Expert Evidence: IW & CA Price Constructions Pty Ltd v Australian Building Insurance Services Pty Ltd

Expert Evidence

The Background:

The expert evidence of Steven Ponsonby was relied on in the recent decision of  IW & CA Price Constructions Pty Ltd v Australian Building Insurance Services Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] QSC 39. In the decision handed down by Justice Lyons in the Supreme Court of Queensland, the Court found in favour of the Defendant in regards to the following:

  • Monies incorrectly paid to the Plaintiff,
  • Damages for a loss of profits, and
  • Damages for a diminution of the value of goodwill arising from the actions of the Plaintiff.

Our Involvement:

Forensic Accounting Qld was engaged by the Defendant to undertake the quantification of various heads of loss, resulting from a dispute between the seller and purchaser of a business providing building and construction services to insurance companies, arising from insurance claims.

The two forensic reports prepared by Forensic Accounting Qld, and the oral evidence subsequently provided by Steven Ponsonby assisted the Court in its determination of the financial loss suffered by the Defendant.

After the commencement of the trial, Forensic Accounting Qld was provided with further documentation to consider, necessitating further analysis to be undertaken, (i.e. referred to as “Exhibit 19” in the judgement).

The Expert Evidence:

In respect of the reports prepared by Mr Ponsonby and his subsequent oral evidence, Justice Lyons summarised one head of loss very succinctly at paragraph 134 of the judgement:

“Ponsonby calculates the loss to be $505,015. Given the contents of Exhibit 19, I consider that it is correct to calculate the loss at $598,675. Ponsonby gave evidence that he had done that calculation himself and that was his conclusion if the source of the information in Exhibit 19 could be verified as coming from CGU, which was ultimately satisfied.”

Click here to read the full judgement.

Acknowledged as Experts:

Forensic Accounting Qld is regularly engaged to assist parties with quantification of various heads of loss and damage and Steven Ponsonby is often called upon to provide expert evidence in a multitude of jurisdictions on a national basis.

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.