Boston Accounting Firm Split Ends Up in Court

A partner who left his Boston accounting firm to join another is now suing his former partners, saying they wrongly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Scott Kanter, formerly of Kanter Troy Orleans & Wexler LLP, left the firm last August and, along with 10 others, joined Brown & Brown LLP, also based in Boston. Two months later, his former partners merged with competitor DiCicco, Gulman & Co., the Boston Business Journal reported.

Kanter, in a complaint filed March 10, says that he notified his partners on Aug. 26 that he was leaving the firm because the partners wanted to adopt a pay system that was not linked to how much revenue they brought in. That should have ended the partnership, Kanter said. The complaint says that he brought in more than two times the revenue than the next-best partner in 2003.

The partnership was not dissolved. Instead, Troy, Orleans and Wexler amended their certificate of limited liability partnership filed with the Secretary of State under the name Troy, Orleans & Wexler LLP to "usurp for themselves as much of the assets of KTOW as they could," the complaint said, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Kanter's lawsuit contends that his former partners have wrongly diverted more than $750,000, including $125,000 for personal use by Troy and $293,000 to write off Orleans' family estate. Other funds from the partnership were used to pay employees of Troy, Orleans & Wexler, the complaint says.

"This is litigation that didn't have to happen," said Richard Yurko, an attorney with Yurko & Salvesen PC in Boston who represents Kanter. "Mr. Kanter was willing to work with the parties to wind down the affairs (of the original partnership) in a logical and reasonable manner and his efforts were rebuffed."

David Wexler, one of the former partners, told the Boston Business Journal that Kanter wasn't serious about the settlement discussions. "We're going to file a defense and counterclaims,” he said.

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