E&Y claims victory is in sight

Both parts of Equitable’s case against Ernst & Young are dead, the Big
Four firm claimed this week.

Equitable dropped the largest part of its claim against E&Y on Monday
after opting not to pursue its £1.3bn ‘lost sale’ claim. The two parts of
Equitable’s suit comprised its lost chance to sell the society (‘the lost sale
claim’) and its lost opportunity to reduce bonuses (‘the bonus claim’).

Equitable dropped the lost sale claim on the basis that directors had
indicated they would not have sold the society if they had been differently
advised by E&Y.

According to Victoria Cochrane, general counsel for E&Y, the directors
also said that they would not have reduced bonuses to policyholders: ‘The
directors have all said that whatever E&Y had done it would not have made
any difference,’ she said.

The bonus claim is worth between £100m and £700m. The difference is accounted
for by actuarial calculations of different orders of bonus cuts to policies
directors could have applied.

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