PracticeAccounting FirmsElton John renews claim against PwC

Elton John renews claim against PwC

Sir Elton John returned to court today to renew his multi-million poundlegal battle with leading accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In April last year one of the country’s top judges threw out his £14m damages and interest claim against the firm. In addition to losing the High Court claim Sir Elton was also left facing a potential legal costs bill estimated at around £8m.

Today though Sir Elton’s lawyers returned to the Appeal Court where, in acomplex legal fight centring on the construction of contracts, they areseeking to re-open the claim.

Mark Howard QC for Sir Elton told Lords Justices Pill, Robert Walker and SirMartin Nourse that Sir Elton claims that the accountants were negligent infailing to report to him that he and his companies, rather than hisex-manager John Reid and his companies, were bearing the costs of variousoutside companies whose services were used during Sir Elton’s overseastours.

‘The total costs born by Sir Elton in this way amount to just under £7m. He claims these sums together with interest,’ said Howard. When the case was heard last year interest was already being put at a further £7m.

Howard said the claim was on the basis that failure by PwC to report on the situation had resulted in Sir Elton losing his ability to recover the money from John Reid and his companies.

‘The issue in essence comes down to this. What were the duties and functionsof John Reid and his companies under the management agreement concerning SirElton’s tours? What was the scope of their responsibilities?’ said Howard.

In the High Court decision, now under challenge, Justice Andrew Ferrisruled that PwC was not guilty of negligence in the way it managed the pop superstar’s affairs.

The judge said then he considered that PwC did owe a duty of care to Sir Elton. But he continued: ‘The loss which he seeks to recover could not on any view be recovered by him.’

‘I am not satisfied that PricewaterhouseCoopers were negligent,’ he said.

The hearing continues.

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