Dickson’s term extended at JDS

A vote of confidence has been handed to Chris Dickson, executive counsel of the Accountant’s Joint Disciplinary Scheme, whose contract at the watchdog was renewed in the midst of his organisation’s High Court battle with Big Four firm Deloitte.

The contract, which will run until the end of 2007, ‘will enable the JDS to complete its workload’, according to Dickson who was due to leave at the end of this year.

The JDS became embroiled in a court action with Deloitte, after the Big Four firm was granted a temporary injunction blocking a press release detailing complaints against Deloitte and its UK chairman Martin Scicluna.

The injunction application was eventually rejected by the High Court at the end of last week.

Although the JDS is being phased out in favour of a new disciplinary body at the Financial Reporting Council, there are still a number of high profile cases to be completed.

The JDS has laid complaints against Ernst & Young for its work on the audit of Equitable Life. Both the firm and E&Y auditors Kevin McNamara and Richard Coombes will face a tribunal in relation to audits from 1990 to 2000.

The disciplinary body has also laid complaints against Pricewaterhouse-Coopers and Jonathan Lauder, a partner at the firm, for their involvement in the audit of TransTec, the collapsed engineering company. All complaints must go before an independent tribunal, which decides whether or not they will be upheld.

Enron remains a concern. The body continues to consider the role of Lord Wakeham who was a non-executive director at the energy giant.

The JDS is also investigating failed bank BCCI and collapsed insurer the Independent Insurance Group.

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