Heritage receiver in multimillion lawsuit.

Grant Thornton is facing claims for damages understood to total several millions of pounds over its role in the collapse of housewares company Heritage plc.

Jeffrey Lampert, the former chairman of the company that went into receivership in 1996, claims he did not receive vital reports from Grant Thornton in 1995 when it was investigating Heritage plc on behalf of Lloyds bank, a major creditor.

Lampert claims that had he seen the reports, his losses as a major investor in the company would have been substantially reduced, and that because he had not seen them, he was not aware of how seriously receivership was being considered.

Controversially, Grant Thornton was subsequently appointed as receiver of Heritage, fuelling the debate of whether investigating accountants should be allowed to be receivers of the same company.

Since the collapse of Heritage, Lampert has been fighting for redress against its bankers and Grant Thornton, but failed in his bid to persuade regulatory authorities at the ICAEW that the firm had broken its rules in relation to its work on Heritage.

Lampert has been backed in the case by his MP Rudi Vis.

Both Grant Thornton and Lampert declined to comment on the new move.

Trigger-happy receivers

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