Barings trial delay move by Deloittes

Liquidator Ernst & Young is suing Deloittes for its role as auditor between 1992 and 1993 to Barings, which folded after £860m worth of unauthorised transactions by rogue trader Nick Leeson.

Deloittes lawyers have claimed they need more time to prepare for the trial and want the date set later in the year.

Mr Justice Edward Evans-Lombe will oversee the case this week in London and QC Scanlen Burnton will represent E&Y.

The three-day hearing is the latest turn in a triple action brought by E&Y, which also involves Coopers & Lybrand Singapore, the auditor when the bank folded in 1994, and its London office which acted as watchdog.

The firms face claims for negligence in the conduct of the Barings audit between 1991 and 1994.

E&Y lawyers contend that the firms did not meet the standards required and failed to discover Leeson’s trading when they should have.

Last July the trial date was fixed for February 2001, which Coopers & Lybrand Singapore failed to contest in the High Court last November.

If Deloittes fails in the High Court this week, the trial date is likely to go ahead as set.

Deloittes was unavailable and a PwC spokesman had no comment.

Alan Bloom, head of corporate recovery and leading the liquidation at Ernst & Young, said: ‘We will contest vigorously.’

Bank of England facing legal move by Barings creditors

Related reading