Settlement Reached in Andersen Tax Trademark Dispute in California

Andersen Tax has settled a lawsuit with MoHala Enterprises, a Monterey, Calif., limited liability company, which was accused of six counts of state and federal trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition.

The suit, filed March 13 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, said MoHala worked in concert with French businessman Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac, who identified himself as global MP of Arthur Andersen in a March 1 LinkedIn post and contended that the firm had been “reconstituted.” Also named in the suit are Veronique Martinez and Arthur Andersen & Co., a French company that is similar to an LLC in the U.S.

According to the settlement, MoHala was part of a network of individuals and entities recruited by Laffont-Réveilhac and Martinez to become affiliates of Arthur Andersen & Co.

Andersen Tax announced Wednesday in a release that the specific terms are confidential, but “MoHala Enterprises d/b/a Sundial Consulting has agreed never to use the terms ‘Andersen’ or ‘Arthur Andersen’ to promote its professional services consultancy, and has withdrawn its membership as an affiliate of the French society calling itself ‘Arthur Andersen & Co.’ Sundial Consulting will also be dissolving Arthur Andersen LLP, a California limited liability partnership it previously formed for purposes of serving as the U.S. member and affiliate of this French society.”

In attempting to reach MoHala’s attorneys, IPA reached out to Oscar Alcantara, Andersen Tax managing director and associate counsel, who says in an email, “Our adversary has not designated counsel in the U.S. case.”

Andersen Tax says it owns multiple trademark registrations incorporating the name Andersen for tax and business consultation services around the world.

Mark Vorsatz, Andersen Tax CEO, told IPA last month that Laffont-Réveilhac met with an Andersen Tax managing director in 2015 and proposed a “sale of defendants’ brand portfolio” in exchange for “an extraordinarily large sum of money.”

“We have no interest in paying them anything for anything,” Vorsatz said at the time, adding that Andersen Tax owns the trademark in over 90 counties, including the U.S. and the European Union. Laffont-Réveilhac has twice been denied use of the trademark in court and Andersen Tax is intent on using all legal avenues to end the matter, Vorsatz said.

Laffont-Réveilhac has continued to post on LinkedIn, most recently outlining “Arthur Andersen’s European Strategy.” He wrote April 12 that “we strive for a rapid increase in power, while taking all the time necessary for a rigourous selection of our future affiliated members for a network of first quality.”

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Rose Financial Services Merges in Eubanks & Company

Eubanks & Company of Ashburn, Va., has joined Rose Financial Services of Rockville, Md., which focuses on finance and accounting outsourcing services.

As part of the deal, which took effect April 1, Eubanks president Jennifer Eubanks will become a partner at Rose. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are all excited to join the innovative and talented team at Rose Financial Services,” Eubanks says in a statement. “We look forward to expanding EuCo’s capabilities and service offerings by joining the best finance and accounting outsourcing firm in the country.”

EuCo provides a variety of accounting, tax and consulting services, and, like Rose, also offers finance and accounting outsourcing.

“We look forward to working together with Ms. Eubanks and her team to bring RFS’ industry-leading shared service center capabilities to EuCo’s clients,” says RFS president and CEO Ted Rose in a statement. “This merger will expand RFS’ Northern Virginia presence and represents the first step of many in expanding RFS’ financial management and part-time CFO footprint.”

McCarthy & Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Lafayette Hill, Pa.-based McCarthy & Company, which specializes in construction accounting, announces that the firm is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business.

Founded in 1967 by John (“Jack”) D. McCarthy, CPA, the firm was recently named a Top 30 accounting firm by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The firm has expanded through organic growth and mergers. It merged in New Jersey-based Mazur Krieghbaum & Higgins in December 2016.

“Fifty years is an impressive milestone for any business,” says Michael Platt, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting, “It is an even more impressive milestone for a partnership.” According to INSIDE Public Accounting’s annual Survey and Analysis of Firms, only 40% of the more than 500 participating public accounting firms can claim a legacy of at least 50 years or more.

MP Martin C. McCarthy joined McCarthy & Company in 1993. “My first client was a construction contractor,” explains McCarthy. “I immediately realized that I have a talent for helping owners of construction companies strengthen their financial position, grow their business and become more profitable. This is why I decided to buy the firm from my father in 1996.”

In 2003, McCarthy brought in partner David E. Gibbs, who shares his passion for working with clients in the construction industry. The firm also works with clients in the real estate, professional services, waste management, logistics and service industries, as well as municipalities.

McCarthy & Company provides traditional assurance, accounting, tax and business advisory services with a specialty in sales and use tax, nexus studies, long-term financial planning, employee benefit plan audits and tax credit analysis.

PrimeGlobal Welcomes 3G Gadras & Associes and Segeco

PrimeGlobal, comprised of approximately 300 successful independent public accounting firms in 85 countries, has announced the addition of 3G Gadras & Associes and Segeco to the association’s Europe, Middle East & Africa Region.

3G Gadras & Associes is headquartered in Artigues Près Bordeaux, France, and provides services to about 500 companies of all sizes and sectors in the southwest of France and surrounding areas. 3G Gadras & Associés has considerable experience in the wine sector, and works with a number of both wine producers and wine merchants. The firm is also experienced in the auditing of French subsidiaries of international groups.

Segeco, based in Lyon, has 46 offices in France with 700 employees. In addition to providing quality standard accounting and audit services, Segego is experienced in providing quality executive search, cyber security and technology solutions. Segeco also operates with a law firm, specializing in social law, tax and business law, litigation and intellectual property.

Jeff Silver Returns to AGH as Principal

Jeff Silver

Jeff Silver

AGH of Atlanta welcomes back Jeff Silver as a principal in real estate assurance services.

Silver returns to AGH after working in the private sector. Prior to his time in private industry, he served as AGH’s director of assurance services.

The firm assists clients with all manner of needs including taxation, assurance services, employee benefit plans, estates and trusts, with a particular focus on the real estate and construction sector, health care, labor unions, technology and professional services.

“Jeff has a particular niche in purchase price allocation – there is none better,” says Kathie Gottlieb, AGH president and principal. “In addition to his technical abilities, Jeff is loved by his clients and by our staff. Relationship and communication are always No. 1 for Jeff and for the firm.”

“I know firsthand what an amazing firm AGH is – the clients and the extraordinary professionals who make up the firm, as well as their progressive approach to problem-solving and delivering outstanding service to the companies that rely on the firm,” Silver says.

Withum Partners with Early-Stage Tech Companies in Central Florida

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown (Withum) (FY16 net revenue of $147.1 million) has announced its continued commitment to advancing the growth of entrepreneurship in Orlando, Fla., by partnering with Canvs, Starter Studio, FireSpring Fund and the Orlando Tech Association (OTA) over the next two years.

The firm is a “visionary sponsor” committed to mentoring early-stage tech companies in building their businesses throughout the state’s central region.

Ranked No. 27 on the 2016 IPA 100 list, Withum maintains a dedicated technology services group offering traditional and customized advisory services for the technology industry. The specialists serve a broad client base ranging from startups to household names in the tech marketplace.

“Withum has signed on at the highest level of sponsorship in order to support this highly critical, yet severely underfunded business segment, where some of the greatest ideas of a generation are born,” says Withum’s Jim Bourke, practice leader of the firm’s technology services group. “Our goal is to encourage and advance the truly innovative concepts being explored by early-stage tech companies with roots in Central Florida through advocacy, inspiration and mentorship.”

Withum is collaborating with Canvs, a non-profit co-working space for tech startups in downtown Orlando; Starter Studio, which provides education, mentorship, legal and financial resources; FireSpring Fund, a seed-stage capital provider and advanced tech accelerator; and Orlando Tech Association, the leading voice and conduit for Orlando’s tech community. These organizations provide resources and links to key constituents necessary to move the tech ecosystem forward in Central Florida.

“Withum is truly a visionary organization and we are delighted to partner with them in growing innovation in the central Florida region,” says Donna Mackenzie, spokesperson for the four organizations that benefit from Withum’s support. In addition to financial resources, Withum’s technology specialists are offering lunch and learn programs, guest speaking at demo days for Starter Studio and FireSpring Fund, and hosting meetups with OTA at Canvs.

PrimeGlobal Announces Axens Audit as its Newest Member Firm in France

PrimeGlobal announces the addition of Axens Audit to the association’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Region.

Axens was established in 1975 in Andrezieux, France, with one employee. Today, the firm
is comprised of seven chartered accountants and more than 100 employees in four offices across the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region.

President and MP Benoît Perin is proud of the depth of the firm’s experience and expertise. Axens boasts an experienced professional staff, which is comprised of chartered accountants from the biggest international audit firms, including several years’ experience in North America; a legal audit team of 16, who are also experienced with international clients; and six specific teams focused on providing top-quality services in accounting, legal audit, tax, payroll, management/transitional services and company law.

Axens is member of France Defi, the first French group of independent chartered accountants. The local and regional support of France Defi, coupled with the international support of PrimeGlobal, ensures that Axens can take care of any client need, PrimeGlobal announced.

Both PrimeGlobal and its EMEA Chief Regional Officer, Thierry Delvaux, are pleased to welcome Axens Audit on board, joining PrimeGlobal’s approximately 300 member firms in 85 countries.

Grassi & Co. Welcomes COMPASS-Regulatory and Compliance Advisers

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $53 million) continues to invest in compliance and regulatory consulting and announces the affiliation of COMPASS-Regulatory and Compliance Advisers, led by Gary Swiman as president and Larry Wagner as managing director. The practice will be based out of Grassi & Co.’s Manhattan office.

Prior to joining Grassi & Co., Swiman has held CCO and senior regulatory positions at major broker-dealers as well as large international asset managers. He also served as a partner and head of regulatory and compliance services at two top 30 accounting firms. He has more than 25 years of experience implementing compliance programs for hedge funds, private equity funds, registered investment advisers, investment banks and broker-dealers.

Wagner is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of achievement in small to large-sized businesses, capital markets, investment banking, hedge funds, private equity and alternative asset management industries. As an experienced CFO, he gained a unique perspective of finance having spent significant time in both private and multi-national public entities.

“Gary and Larry’s approach is unique in providing practical subject matter expertise tailored to each client’s industry and business model,” says MP and CEO Louis Grassi. “This approach results in meeting the client’s regulatory objectives at a fair price without disrupting the client’s business initiatives.”

Both professionals have been widely quoted and looked upon as experts in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.

Olleros Abogados Joins Andersen Global

Andersen Global welcomes the addition of Olleros Abogados, a Spanish firm with locations in both Madrid and Valencia. The firm will join Andersen Global as a member, officially adopting the Andersen name and combining forces with the existing Barcelona team with whom they already share a close relationship. Together, they will operate as Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain.

Olleros Abogados joins Andersen Global with nearly 160 professionals and 30 years in the legal sector. In 2016, Olleros Abogados increased both turnover and headcount by 20%, becoming one of the leading Spanish firms in consolidated growth within the legal market.

“I began my professional career at Arthur Andersen in Madrid in the tax, legal and foreign investment departments, and later founded Olleros Abogados with the goal of offering the most innovative and comprehensive solutions for our clients. A decade at Andersen instilled important principles in me such as transparency and high-caliber client service capabilities that remained strong at Olleros Abogados and will continue at Andersen Tax & Legal,” says Jaime Olleros, MP of Andersen Tax & Legal.

The professionals at Andersen Tax & Legal provide both legal and tax advice, including corporate compliance, business law, regulatory, litigation, arbitration, labor law, transaction services and restructuring and intellectual property law, to individuals and corporate clients.

“Jaime and his team represent the best qualities of our culture. Through the addition of synergistic individuals, we are continuing to strengthen our capabilities in Spain as we add groups that embrace our core values,” says Andersen Tax CEO Mark Vorsatz.

With the addition of these Andersen Tax & Legal locations in Madrid and Valencia, Andersen Global now has more than 1,800 professionals and a presence in 59 locations worldwide.

Lawhorn CPA Group Expands into Georgia

Knoxville, Tenn.-based Lawhorn CPA Group of has acquired Baird & Co. CPAs of Augusta, Ga.

The Georgia firm will become Lawhorn’s fourth location, after Knoxville and Jefferson City, Tenn., and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

“This acquisition, while a part of our overall vision for the firm, is a very big step for us. We’re excited about entering the Augusta market and partnering with this well-established firm,” Jason Lawhorn, president and CEO of Lawhorn CPA, says in the announcement. “This new iteration of the Baird CPA firm as Lawhorn-Baird CPA Group will continue to serve the great clients that Baird, along with its partners and staff, have exceptionally serviced for 90 years, as we bring additional expertise and expanded services that we’ve provided at Lawhorn CPA since 1979.”

The new firm, Lawhorn-Baird CPA Group, will be a wholly owned division of Lawhorn CPA, managed by partners Lawhorn and Brenda Carroll. Audit services formerly offered by Baird CPA will continue to be provided by The Baird Audit Group, managed by partner Rep Whiddon, formerly of Baird CPA. John Gillion Jr. and the current Baird team will stay on at the Augusta office.