by The PMA Team
The former auditor for collapsed Slug & Lettuce operator SFI Group is being sued for £54m, the Morning Advertiser has learnt. Horwath Clark Whitehill (HCW) worked as SFI's auditor for about 10 years until 2002 when a £20m blackhole was found in its accounts.
The claim for damages against HCW is close to the figure of £58.8m in 'fundamental accounting errors that was eventually discovered in SFI's books.
A 'professional negligence pre-action protocol was issued against HCW in March.
One source, who has seen details of the claim against the auditor, said: 'It is being argued that all investment decisions were based on the audited accounts. For that reason I think the action will fail the action is too general.
SFI unsecured shareholders have been told success in the legal claim against HCW will determine chances of getting any money back.
HCW chief executive Andrew Pianca said: 'We are defending this strongly. Asked about costs so far, he said: 'On a day to day basis this is now an insurance company matter.