Commercial Disputes

Ross Forensics professionals have extensive expertise in the analysis of economic damages and providing expert testimony in a wide variety of significant commercial disputes.  In addition to general business disputes, we have performed work in the context of shareholder and partnership disputes as well as post-acquisition purchase price adjustment matters. 

Our professionals are experienced in both the analysis and preparation of commercial damages claims, including, for example, those relating to:  breach of contract; loss of profits; contract termination; business interruption; funds-tracing; business valuation; business failure; fraud and embezzlement; and, breach of fiduciary duty.  We have analyzed historical financial results and financial forecasts, as well as issues such as:  production capacity and costs; cost allocations; financing availability; market share, competition, industry trends; economic trends; and, discount and capitalization rates, among many others.  We also are very experienced in significant and complex class action matters.  Our professionals are adept at cost-effective compilation, analysis and presentation of large-scale datasets common in such cases.

Our commercial disputes experience spans a vast array of industries, including:  high technology / internet; telecommunications; manufacturing; oil & gas; natural resources; utilities; airline; hospitality; franchising; health care and, real estate. 

Ross Forensics professionals have provided expert testimony on a broad range of economic damages issues in numerous depositions and trials in state and federal courts nationwide and in arbitrations.


Case Studies in Commercial Disputes

High Technology Loss of Business Value

Our professionals were retained on behalf of a publically-traded internet media company to analyze claims in excess of $175 million for alleged loss of business value and loss of profits asserted to result from tortious interference in the sale of a business involving mobile instant messaging (texting) technology and other bundled assets jointly owned by two high technology companies.  Our analyses focused on the timing of certain milestones in relation to marketing the businesses, economic and industry trends in the relevant time period, valuations prepared by investment banks and other related information.  Steve Ross provided deposition testimony on behalf of the defendant.  The arbitration tribunal subsequently returned a ruling dismissing all claims in favor of our client.

Oil Refinery Lost Profits

Our professionals were retained by a group of international oil companies that owned and operated a major west coast gas pipeline to analyze claims in excess of $485 million for alleged loss of profits at a large oil refinery.  The claims arose due to an explosion and shutdown of the pipeline.  Our analyses focused on refinery operations before and after the shutdown, and addressed issues including:  historical actual and projected refinery capacity; crude supply; tanker offload turnaround time; fixed and variable production costs; alternate transportation costs: and, available capacity at other west coast refineries. The results of our analyses were set out in an expert report used by the parties in mediation.


Telecommunications Company Loss of Business Value

Our professionals were jointly retained by a group of defendants to analyze claims in excess of $17 million for alleged loss of business value asserted to result from tortious interference in connection with a start-up telecommunications company.  Our analyses addressed company capitalization and cash flow, industry trends and competition, macro-economic trends, and venture capital availability, among other issues.  Steve Ross provided expert testimony in trial in United States District Court.  A favorable verdict was returned by the Court.

Internet Company Business Devastation

Our professionals were retained by the defendant software developer to analyze a claim for business devastation brought by an internet company operating in the business to business (“B to B”) space.  Through its integrated website, the company provided services such as supply chain management, materials purchasing, document management and file sharing for medium to large construction contractors.  The plaintiff alleged that software reliability issues resulted in website outages and other stability problems that caused the company to fail.  Our analyses addressed the financial condition of the company, cash flow and capital requirements as it continued in its start-up phase.  In addition to analyzing the financial performance of the plaintiff, we also addressed industry trends and competition as well as macro-economic trends.  Steve Ross provided expert testimony in trial in Superior Court.  A favorable verdict was returned by the Court.

DRAM Wafer Plant Lost Profits

Our professionals were retained by the defendant general contractor to analyze a claim for lost profits of approximately $40 million alleged to result from construction delays on a DRAM wafer chip plant.  Our analyses addressed pricing, cost and demand assumptions inherent in the claim and actual wafer chip pricing and demand worldwide.  We determined that a global surplus in DRAM chip supply and attendant fall in market prices led to production curtailment and plant shutdowns worldwide.  As a consequence, the construction delays resulted in no loss of profits to the owner.  On the basis of our findings, the business loss claims subsequently were resolved.

Purchase Price Adjustment Disputes

Our professionals were retained to address a series of purchase price adjustment disputes arising from the divestiture of properties and service contracts by one of the largest cemetery operators in North America.  We evaluated the extent to which the seller complied with state laws governing trust funding requirements related to customers’ “pre-need” purchases of cemetery plots and burial products and services.  Our analyses included:  review of the accounting records for historical sales transactions which often dated back several decades and frequently involved installment payments made over a number of years; examination of the sales contracts to determine the specific products/merchandise sold and the applicable trust funding requirements; and, review of the funeral home/cemetery’s business records and annual report filings with the secretary of state.  Steve Ross provided expert testimony in deposition.  The cases were successfully settled over a period of several years.