Deloitte chairman to face disciplinary tribunal

The UK chairman of Deloitte has had a complaint laid against him by the profession’s disciplinary body, Accountancy Age can reveal, after a High Court judge this morning lifted an injunction blocking us from reporting on the action.

Link: Accountancy Age and Deloitte in High Court

Martin Scicluna, the UK chairman of the board of partners, has had a complaint laid against him by Chris Dickson, executive counsel of the Accountant’s Joint Disciplinary Scheme.

The complaint says he failed to report Stephen Ives, a former Deloitte audit partner who worked on the audit of casino company Capital Corporation in the nineties, to the ICAEW. He has also laid complaints against the firm itself, which will now be investigated by an independent tribunal.

Scicluna and Deloitte were granted a temporary injunction in February, which prevented Accountancy Age from publishing the story. They claimed that publication of the JDS’s complaints, regardless of the result of the tribunal, would ‘be causative of serious and irreparable harm to the reputation and business of the claimants’ [Scicluna and Deloitte].

Ives was excluded from membership of the ICAEW and ordered to pay £87,000 costs by the JDS last November for ‘fraud’. The JDS found Ives had ‘fraudulently obtained’ a Range Rover from Capital Corporation, which owned the famous high-rolling Mayfair casino Crockfords. Capital was sold to Stanley Leisure in 1999 following a protracted bidding battle.

Along with the complaint against Scicluna, a separate complaint has been laid against Deloitte as a firm for ‘failing to resign as auditor of Capital’ at the time of Capital’s 1996 interim announcement.

In a third complaint laid down by the JDS and to be investigated by the independent tribunal, Deloitte was charged with ‘acquiescing in Capital’s misleading amendments to the disclosures D&T had recommended that Capital make to the market’.

Just days before the JDS had intended to announce the complaints, Deloitte had sought a last-minute injunction against the watchdog and Accountancy Age to stop us from publishing a press release concerning the complaints in our 10 February issue. A temporary injunction was granted while the courts considered the matter, and it was this that the judge lifted this morning.

‘We always had confidence in the merits of our case,’ said Accountancy Age editor Damian Wild. ‘If the accountancy profession is to be seen to be transparent and accountable in the eyes of the public it needs a robust, independent watchdog, which can act without outside interference. We strongly believed that if this injunction were allowed to stand it would do lasting damage to the profession’s reputation. We are delighted that the judge agreed.’

A Joint Disciplinary Tribunal will be appointed to hear the complaints. Mr Scicluna and Deloitte stated during the course of proceedings that they were confident that the complaints would be dismissed in due course.

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