PracticeAccounting FirmsDeloitte in the clear as Barings case ends

Deloitte in the clear as Barings case ends

An appeal in the long running and massively expensive legal battle between Barings liquidators KPMG, and former Barings auditors, Deloitte, over the level of damages Deloitte should pay in the wake of the 1995 Barings collapse, was formally dismissed in London today.

Link: Barings: Deloitte acted negligently

The appeal was called off at the 11th hour last week just as it was due to begin when lawyers announced a behind the scenes settlement had been reached, but that matters still needed to be formalised.

This morning Lords Justices Peter Gibson, Rix and Longmore formally dismissed the appeal at the request of all parties and made no orders in respect of legal costs.

The court was told by Michael Brindle QC for KPMG, that the agreement, terms of which have since last week been approved by both the UK and Singapore High Courts is subject to a confidentiality clause and as a result details have not been given of it.

Had the appeal proceeded it would have centred on a High Court finding that it was the former directors of Barings, rather than Deloitte, who were primarily to blame for failure to spot the activities of rogue trader, Nick Leeson.

In the High Court Mr Justice Evans-Lombe held that Deloitte was liable for a mere pounds sterling £1.5m of the losses suffered by Barings, as opposed to the pounds £130m which had been claimed.

Barings collapsed with debts of £771m in 1995 as a result of the trading activities of Leeson, who was general manager of Barings Futures in Singapore. The bank was Britain’s oldest merchant bank.

Initially KPMG sued both Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, claiming £1bn. They alleged that the auditors were to blame for what happened. PwC settled the claim against them for £65m.

The case was one of the most expensive in modern legal history. It ran for some ten months and notched up legal fees said to be in the region of £5m.

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