E&Y says claim was ‘disreputable’ and ‘hopeless’

Equitable’s lost sale claim against Ernst & Young was ‘disreputable’ and
‘hopeless,’ E&Y has said in its response to the news that Equitable has
dropped the £1.3bn lost sale claim against the Big Four firm.

E&Y is understood to have been awarded costs in relation to the £1.3bn
claim, and said in a statement: ‘We have always maintained this was a case that
should never have been brought. The fact that four years into this process and
nearly half way through the trial Equitable has abandoned its £1.3bn sale claim
against Ernst & Young shows what a desperate state their case is in.’

‘This is one of the worst examples ever seen of the disreputable tactic of
making a hugely inflated claim, now admittedly hopeless, against a “Deep Pocket
” in the hope of forcing a settlement out of fear of litigation risk.

‘Millions of pounds of policyholders’ money has been poured down the drain in
a speculative and irresponsible gamble that was always bound to fail.
Substantial associated legal costs will now have to be paid by Equitable to
Ernst & Young.

‘As regards Equitable’s assertion that we have tacitly admitted audit
negligence – we have not. As our QC Mark Hapgood explained to the Court this
afternoon, “We emphatically deny negligence. The Court will be assisted in this
matter by evidence from some eight audit and actuarial experts”.’

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