PracticeConsultingBarings trial delayed for further talks

Barings trial delayed for further talks

A billion pound court case brought by liquidators at Ernst & Young against the former auditors of collapsed Barings Bank has been delayed for the second time.

The case, which is expected to last two years, was scheduled to begin at 10.30.

But top QCs and other lawyers representing the parties met with the judge, Mr Justice Evans-Lombe, in private just before the case was due to kick off.

Then, without revealing any details of what had been discussed, the matter was put on ice until Thursday this week so that further out-of-court work can be carried out.

E&Y alleges that Big Five rivals Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte & Touche were negligent in failing to unearth the activities of Nick Leeson, whose trading brought the bank down in 1995.

It is thought that the second delay indicates that the parties are close to agreeing a settlement.

If the case did run its full course, it is expected to become the longest ever action in British legal history and would run up many millions of pounds.

One of London’s largest court rooms in First Avenue House, Holborn, has been set aside for it and is already lined with a small rainforest of legal paperwork. A glittering cast of the country’s top commercial lawyers have been drafted in to fight the case.

Previously, moves by a group of US creditors to have the liquidators, three partners from top accountants Ernst & Young, replaced with two partners from another top firm, KPMG failed.

Links

Barings case delayed for second time

PwC attempts 11th-hour Barings deal

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