Forensic accountants are more essential in today’s world

[> IT’S FAIR TO SAY that the world of finance has never been so complex. Even personal financial affairs can often require the skills of a forensic accountant – with their meticulous attention to detail, combined with analytical and interpretive skills of the highest order.

DRC Forensics is a specialist forensic accountancy practice set up by David Cook in 2009 in Portishead, Bristol. Since then David and his associate Chris Gahagan have acted as expert witness in countless cases, both in the civil and criminal courts.

David qualified as a chartered accountant in 1965 and became a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1975. He is a member of the Institute’s Special Interest Groups for Forensic Work and Valuations. He is also a Justice of the Peace.

David has a wide range of commercial and corporate expertise, particularly business advice, financial planning and taxation. He has been widely involved in valuing businesses for acquisition, disposal, management buy-outs and reorganisation, as well as in dispute situations.


He is a Law Society-approved expert witness and is used to producing expert reports, giving evidence in court and acting for the prosecution/ complainant, defence or as a single joint expert. David has considerable expertise in litigation support and investigations, especially in relation to supporting lawyers on the accounting and financial aspects of business and commercial disputes, professional negligence, fraud investigations and other criminal matters.

As well as work for lawyers, David has carried out assignments for the Serious Fraud Office, SOCA and the Solicitors Indemnity Fund and assignments for and claims against banks.

Said David: “I deal with legal disputes involving money where, usually, I am instructed by a lawyer to investigate a situation, produce an independent expert’s report and, where necessary, give evidence in court.

“In criminal cases I deal mainly with fraud, money laundering and confiscation under POCA. I act usually for the defence, as the prosecution these days use in-house accredited financial investigators, and I often appear in Crown Court.

“In civil cases I can be a party expert for claimant or defendant, single joint expert where the court specifies it, shadow expert advising a party or independent accountant to determine a dispute. I deal with professional negligence and with shareholder, partnership, matrimonial and contract disputes. I conduct numerous valuations of businesses in dispute situations. Most civil cases are settled without court attendance, but I still give evidence sometimes.”

Chris Gahagan is a chartered accountant who has a law degree and over 20 years’ experience. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1990 and is a member of the ICAEW’s Special Interest Groups for Forensic Work and Valuations.

Chris has vast commercial and corporate experience having set up a number of businesses and having been instrumental in the acquisition, valuation and sale of several companies. He has provided consultancy services on all aspects of business to national retail organisations as well as SMEs.


Together David and Chris form a formidable partnership with a wealth of expertise.

To get in touch with David or Chris, give them a call on 01275 390407 or 07891 492002