Paul Jacobs FCCA – Finance Manager – Our in house accountant

In-House Accountant

 

We are lucky to have within our team our own in-house accountant in the form of Paul Jacobs FCCA. Paul is also the firm’s finance manager.

To be clear – as a firm we are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and we do not therefore provide financial advice. Where financial advice is needed by a client – we will work with their existing financial adviser, or if they do not have a financial adviser then we will refer to a panel reputable financial advisers who are familiar with divorce -related issues.

As our in-house accountant, Paul’s role is not to give financial advice – but it is a rule which can assist our clients and add additional value into our services.

In a nutshell – lawyers are trained as lawyers. The core skill of any lawyer is to understand the law and to apply it to their client situation and to assist the client to obtain a good outcomes their case. (The outcome can be obtained in a number of ways including court proceedings or different forms of negotiation). Lawyers will gather evidence and will prepare a thorough case in order to best present the client’s case either in court or in negotiations (or both).

Most lawyers are not graduates in mathematics. Whilst lawyers or analytical – their skills are more often in words than in numbers.

Of course, just as children lawyers pick up a background knowledge in psychology through reading psychological reports, divorce-finance lawyers will have a basic knowledge of related financial matters through repetition.

legal 500 leading firm logoThe advantage of as having an in-house accountant is that we have within our team someone who is more at home with Excel spreadsheets than with Word documents. Our in-house accountant works with our divorce lawyers to assist in the analysis of the various financial evidence with which we are routinely presented. This can be in aiding with the preparation of spreadsheets which will allow us to better argue our client’s case, or it could be in the reading of business accounts and other financial documents.

A little knowledge can sometimes be a bad thing. If you think you know something and you do not – then this can cause problems. In our more complex cases, the inputs that Paul can provide is useful in determining when external and specific expert financial advice is required and from what type of adviser. Paul is able to provide a sounding board/double-check when our finance lawyers are going through the other party’s financial evidence as well as when they are collating a client’s financial evidence.

Paul isn’t needed to assist in every case – but is available as needed.

It also helps that Paul is sat in the office next to our divorce team. The larger and more corporate practices will have accountants working within their finance teams – but many smaller practices will not. Having our own in-house accountant is nothing original – but is something extra that can assist us in doing the best for our clients.

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