PracticeAccounting FirmsEquitable battle heads for Lords

Equitable battle heads for Lords

Whatever the outcome of last week's Appeal Court wrangle between Big Four firm Ernst & Young and Equitable Life, the decision will be contested at the House of Lords.

Link: Equitable court deal a possibility

An Appeal Court ruling should be handed down next month, with experts expecting it to be referred to the House of Lords in the autumn.

Only then will the two companies know exactly what it is they are fighting over.At the time of the Appeal Court battle, Equitable Life had been given the go ahead to pursue up to £500m in damages against the Big Four firm.

Ernst & Young wanted this ruling struck out completely, while Equitable wanted it increased, as well as a £2.6bn claim reinstated for damages incurred as a result of losing the opportunity to sell the mutual.

One source working close to the case said that from court transcripts itappeared that ‘it certainly wasn’t going all Ernst & Young’s way’.

Commentators expect it to ultimately be settled out of court, with the amount dependent on the level of liability insurance the Big Four firm has taken out.

Should E&Y lose significantly, individual partners face the prospect of bankruptcy.

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