PracticeAuditEquitable apologises for AGM comments

Equitable apologises for AGM comments

Case against directors not about fraud or dishonesty QC forced to admit

Equitable Life has apologised in court for comments made at its AGM alleging
that the case against former directors concerned fraud and misfeasance.

In an ambarrassing climbdown, Iain Milligan QC, for Equitable, was forced to
admit yesterday that the ‘comment is not correct and should not have been made.’

Equitable has already been hauled over the coals by Mr Justice Langley for
the remarks, who said earlier in the trial that the comments about
fraud ‘plainly should not have been said’.

Milligan added: ‘Mr Treves’ comment was made towards the end of the AGM, in
the heat of the moment, and in response to the issue of fraud having been raised
by Mr White. Mr Treves retracts his comment and apologises to Mr Martin and all
of the other director defendants for having made it.’

Equitable’s lawsuit against former directors and auditors Ernst & Young
has been faltering recently. The mutual scored an own goal last week in dropping
a new £100m claim against E&Y that it had introduced only days earlier.

Treves had also said at the AGM that Equitable planned to plough on with its
litigation against E&Y. Treves expects E&Y to settle the case, even
though the Big Four firm shows no sign of conceding any ground.

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