Liquidators stick with PR firms despite judge’s BCCI outburst

All of the Big Four use PR agencies to deal with big liquidations, sources
said this week, after the judge in the BCCI case hit out at Deloitte’s ‘cynical
and grotesque’ PR operation in relation to its misfeasance case against the Bank
of England.

In a judgment that criticised several parties over the conduct of the case
against the Bank, Mr Justice Tomlinson highlighted the use of ‘a public
relations consultancy’ retained by the liquidators as a particular source of

‘As part of a campaign of this sort I have no doubt that the urge to make
selective extracts from

documents available to the press was irresistible, as they could be deployed
in a manner which apparently showed the bank in a bad light. I make no criticism
of those who published such extracts as they were given. As an exercise in
objectivity, however, this can be seen with the hindsight acquired from
experience of the trial as a cynical and grotesque operation.’

Representatives from the Big Four said that they too used consultancies on
major liquidations: ‘The use of agencies on these issues is pretty widespread,’
one Big Four PR said.

Liquidations with big consumer implications often result in large numbers of
press inquiries.

E&Y has said in the past that on the Railtrack liquidation, it was
receiving calls from commuters concerned that their train was late

Other sources also said that the interest from the media on such issues
tended to be ‘lumpy’, in that it was concentrated around particular events, and
that it made no sense to have in-house specialists dealing with them.

It is unclear what the next step in the case will be, after some suggested
the judge’s criticisms would lead to some fall-out, including regulatory
interest, for Deloitte as liquidator and lawyers involved with the case.

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