Kahn ‘steps down' from ICAEW's special industry group

by Chris Warmoll

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02 Sep 2014

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NEVILLE KAHN, Deloitte's global head of reorganisation services has "stepped down" from his role as chairman of the ICAEW's special industry group on insolvency. 

Kahn is one of a trio of senior insolvency practitioners referred by the Insolvency Service for consideration of disciplinary action over the collapse and Comet which led to 6,889 employees losing their jobs.

His departure is in the wake of business secretary Vince Cable ordering the ICAEW to probe Kahn's and the work of Christopher Farrington and Nicholas Edwards roles in the controversial collapse of Comet, which cost taxpayers £45m. The referral relates to a potential conflict of interest when the three IPs, who had previously advised the company and connected parties, took on the administration.

Kahn has also worked on several high profile high street names that have fallen on gloomy times in the recent past, including the collapsed Woolworths chain and music retailer HMV - now undergoing something of a renaissance.

An ICAEW spokesman said: "Neville Kahn was committee chair of our special interest group on insolvency. He formally stepped down from his position as committee chair of the group. The group is one of 12 such groups that provides sector-specific support, events and information for accountants.

"Our disciplinary byelaws preclude us from commenting on whether any matter many or may not be the subject of consideration by our Professional Conduct Department. Where such consideration results in disciplinary action being taken then a public announcement will be made."

The ongoing ICAEW probe is looking at whether the Deloitte trio broke industry guidelines by working for Comet before it became insolvent, leading to a potential conflict of interest, fused with not adequately consulting Comet employees before they were axed.

In June, former employees at the defunct electrical retailer secured a multi-million pound award having won an employment tribunal which ruled they had not been properly consulted about their redundancies.

Deloitte has defended its partners and the firm, claiming that a conflict between employment and insolvency law has regurlaly led to similar awards by the court in other cases.

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