PracticeConsultingPwC and Barings: Will the bruising continue?

PwC and Barings: Will the bruising continue?

PricewaterhouseCoopers will be hoping that the Coopers & Lybrand settlement over Barings, unveiled today, will reduce the amount of dirty linen it is forced to wash in public.

But the settlement between Barings’ auditor Coopers, which merged to form PwC in 1998, and creditors of the collapsed bank is likely to cost partners at the firm a huge amount of money.

Liquidator Ernst & Young was tight-lipped about the size of the settlement today, but it is likely to be substantial, and likely to be disclosed to the public despite any efforts to keep it secret.

And although, as far as PwC is concerned, the firm is reaching the end of a tortuous legal quagmire, wrangling over who foots the bill within the firm could continue – as could negotiations with its insurers.

The interesting thing now is what happens to Coopers? fellow Barings’ auditor, Deloitte & Touche, which has stayed out of today?s agreement.

The liquidators may decide it is not worth the expense and hassle of pursuing Deloittes through a long and protracted court case and settle for a nominal sum.

But if both sides decide to fight on, PricewaterhouseCoopers could still find itself blighted by the negative publicity it has sought so hard to avoid.

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Coopers settles over Barings

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