Chris Dickson, the former executive counsel for the profession’s chief
disciplinary scheme, is to join Grant Thornton as a consultant to its forensics
Dickson, executive counsel since 1998, finished work with the Accountants’
Joint Disciplinary Scheme earlier this year when he concluded proceedings
against Ernst & Young over the firm’s audit of Equitable Life.
Steve Cornmell, head of the forensics team at GT, said Dickson had been hired
in anticipation of an increase in work relating to legal action against
auditors. Dickson would also advise on GT’s own practice protection.
Dickson’s chief job at the JDS was to investigate whether charges should be
brought against auditors and firms for negligence.
Prior to that he was at the Serious Fraud Office where he was senior
His cases at the JDS included action against auditors of Barings Bank and
Polly Peck as well as proceedings in connection with BCCI, Versailles Group,
Wickes and Queen’s Moat House.
One of the JDS’ biggest cases, however, featured complaints brought against
Coopers & Lybrand for its audit of three businesses connected to Robert
Maxwell. The firm was fined £1.2m, the largest penalty handed out by a tribunal
of the JDS.
Most recently Dickson completed work on complaints brought against Ernst
& Young for the audit of Equitable Life which saw the firm fined £500,000.
Dickson was viewed as tenacious and uncompromising in his work for the JDS.
He was also mischievious. When setting up the JDS’ website he registered the
address as www.castigator.org.
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