KPMG in court tussle over property deal

KPMG has reached the
high court in
its effort to sue a former client for nearly £1.5m over a refusal to appoint the
firm as agents for a sale of UK shopping centres.

The Big Four firm has made the claim against Equity Trust (Jersey), which is
acting on behalf of Ironzar Trust, but the firm faces a countersuit for acting
negligently and failing to exercise reasonable care.

KPMG claims it should have been appointed as agents for the sale of two
properties – Queensmere Shopping Centre and the Observatory Shopping Centre –
which were sold for £192m.

The firm was contracted to provide a feasibility study into the sale of the
two Slough sites, plus Stockport-based Merseyway Shopping Centre, and would
serve as selling agent if the project were aborted, but if the properties were
marketed for sale at a later date.

KPMG also proposed selling the centres through a collective investment

Another adviser expressed doubt about such a scheme, prompting a counterclaim
from Equity Trust over negligence and a failure to exercise reasonable care.

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