PracticeAuditHuntingdon to protect its auditor

Huntingdon to protect its auditor

Controversial biotechnology company Huntingdon Life Sciences may have found a way to protect its auditor from the kind of animal rights protest action that saw Big Four firm Deloitte drop the company as a client.

Bold: City contemplates ‘wild west’ rewards for violent protester

The animal testing centre’s parent company, Life Sciences Research, announced its preliminary results at the end of last week and is due to submit its 10-K form, or annual report, to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in the next few days. The SEC requires that such a form must contain a report from a certified auditor.

But HLS seemed unconcerned with the fallout that the annual report could cause, and this week hinted that the auditor question had been resolved, though it would not say how.

When asked whether HLS had informed its auditor of the potential problems it could suffer once the 10-K form was published, a spokesman said: ‘You will have to have a look at the 10-K form when it is published. It might raise a few more questions.’ He refused to provide further details.

Protest group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty previously forced Deloitte to drop HLS as a client following an intensive two-week campaign of protest and intimidation, and has promised the same treatment for any auditor that works for HLS.

SHAC has even promised retrospective protests if a firm undertook a ‘hit and run’ audit, where the auditor would part company with HLS before its identity was revealed in the annual report.

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