Lawyers for Deloitte & Touche Singapore this week won an extra four months to prepare for the #1bn trial into its role as auditor prior to the collapse of Barings Bank. Deloittes acted as auditor for Barings from 1992 to 1993, which folded after #860m worth of unauthorised transactions by rogue trader Nick Leeson. Deloittes lawyers argued at London’s High Court they needed more time to prepare because of the complexity of the trial. Coopers & Lybrand Singapore, now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers, will also benefit from the extra time to prepare its defence of its work as auditor for the bank in 1994. Liquidator Ernst & Young has brought the case against Deloittes and Coopers on behalf of Barings’ creditors and claim both firms did not meet standards required and should have discovered Leeson’s trading. After a three day hearing before Mr Justice Edward Evans-Lombe, the start date was put back from February 2001 to June 15. Meanwhile, two PwC audit partners, Gareth Davies and Andrew Turner, are expected to learn the outcome of a tribunal held by the profession’s senior watchdog soon. The Joint Disciplinary Tribunal – which has been looking into their role during the Barings collapse – is expected to announce its findings, and its verdict on Coopers’ role, later this month if there is no appeal. Bank of England and Barings www.accountancyage.com/Practice/107417.
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