A suspicious document surfaces just before or during the litigation process. You are disputing the authenticity of this document because you suspect that it was backdated. Is it possible to test your hypothesis through objective forensic analysis?
There are several methods that can be considered for document dating. One approach determines when items on the document first came into existence. For example, the date of production of the paper, the type of writing instrument, ink from the writing instrument, printing technology and characteristics of the ink/toner of the printing device. Another approach looks at how items such as the writing ink of a signature on the document changes over time, i.e. ink dating. Changes in a person’s signature over time have also been successfully used to date a disputed signature.
As items submitted for forensic analysis are documents of value, forensic examiners would first adopt non-destructive techniques to ensure that the documents are returned in the original state that they were submitted. For chemically destructive techniques such as ink dating, ink from parts of the questioned handwriting and/or signature are removed from the original disputed document. Hence, approval needs to be sought from involved parties to conduct such tests.
The effectiveness of an approach or method is case-dependent and hinges on the sufficiency and relevance of the submitted items. Do not hesitate to consult The Forensic Experts Group if you are unsure as to whether forensic analysis can assist in your case.
Our forensic experts have successfully applied various methods to provide strong, and at times, unequivocal evidence in civil proceedings on document dating.
- High Court Case,: Our experts examined a disputed document and cast doubts on its authenticity, based on the signature and the age of the paper. The case was eventually settled at an amount that was much less than the original compensation sought by the opposing party.
- Arbitration: A case involved an arbitration between a contractor (Claimant) and a developer (Respondent) where the Respondent challenged the authenticity of numerous invoices and work orders produced by the Claimant. The forensic findings established that the disputed documents, dated over a period of several years, were signed around the same time. The expert report also revealed the persons involved in the backdating process and their modus operandi
- Forensic Consultancy: Even without the original disputed documents, our forensic experts were able to provide evidence to show that several disputed signatures were backdated several years; the signatures were signed recently instead of the purported date on each document. Prior to the trial, the opposing party admitted to backdating the documents.
If you observe irregularities in your document or suspect that the document is more recent than purported to be, contact us at 6459 0494 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
 Suit No. S 566/2014