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Senior EY insolvency partner severely reprimanded over ethics breach

A SENIOR EY insolvency practitioner has been severely reprimanded and fined by the ICAEW after accepting an insolvency appointment that broke its code of ethics.

Margaret Mills, global coordinating partner for EY’s restructuring practices, failed to inform a creditor that after agreeing to conduct an Independent Business Review (IBR), neither her nor another EY practitioner would be able to accept a potential formal insolvency appointment.

The firm then undertook contingency work on the stricken business, despite this breaching the ICAEW’s code of ethics. Mills was then appointed administrator of the business, despite an associated firm to EY, Ernst & Young Societe Anonyme, having carried out audit-related for the previous three years.

She then failed to make sufficient records relating to the appointment over the following two years.

In a consent order, the investigation committee fined Mills £15,000, stating that her experience and role should have led her to disallow the personal insolvency appointment.

The committee said there was mitigation, in that Mills relied purely on the firm’s systems, yet her position meant she should have known her actions would go against the code of ethics. She had admitted the complaint and was fully cooperative throughout, the consent order added.

EY’s website states that she has served on a number of major insolvency appointments, including joint administrator of Viatel Group, Energis plc and Daewoo Cars Limited.

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