Over the years our litigation team has dealt with actions of accounting across the sheriff courts of Scotland and in the Court of Session. Examples of situations in which such actions have been required include:
A partnership has broken down and one of the partners is hiding the accounting and financial information from the other partner with the effect that the innocent partner is without information as to what his share of the profit should have been for the final financial year. This obviously has the consequence of knock-on effects such as a failure to pay the appropriate share of tax on partnership profits and the obvious immediate financial consequences for the partner. An action of accounting can get to the bottom of what is owed and put the onus on the other partner to produce the information required.
An elderly man has died leaving a large estate for his children. However, during life, one of his children was acting as his attorney under a Power of Attorney and seemed to have been taking money from his bank account. It is unclear whether this money was taken legitimately to use in order to care for the old man or whether the attorney was taking money for himself as well. The attorney claims that some of the money was a gift. In these circumstances, an action of accounting can put the onus back on the attorney and get him to produce a full accounting of his intromissions with the deceased's estate.
A company director has left the employment of a business which he has been with for years. He has set up on his own and taken a number of contracts with him. In addition to seeking an interim interdict preventing him from breaching his restrictive covenants the company is also interested in finding out exactly what profit he has made on these contracts with a view to recovering damages from him. An action of accounting can be one of the ways in which the company chooses to pursue a monetary claim. Again, the advantage is that in-depth fact finding is not crucial because the onus to produce the information is on the director.
In all of these scenarios and many more actions of accounting can be a very good way of getting to the bottom of what you are owed and ultimately getting an order for payment in your favour. If you would like to discuss actions of accounting further please do not hesitate to get in touch with Richard McMeeken or another member of Morton Fraser's commercial litigation team.