Accountants win new support for law reform

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The Independent Online
Accountants have stepped up pressure for reform of the law under which auditors can bear the whole loss of a company failure even if only partly responsible, writes Roger Trapp.

Accountants have enlisted the support of the National Association of Pension Funds, the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries, the Construction Industry Council and the Building Employers Confederation for their case.

The backing is contained in a letter also signed by the leading accountancy bodies calling on Ian Lang, president of the Board of Trade, to go against the Law Commission's findings and set up a committee to undertake a wider study of the law of joint and several liability.

The move comes just days after the Jersey parliament began debating a law to allow big accountancy firms and other large professional practices to protect themselves from large claims by registering as limited liability partnerships. Earlier KPMG incorporated its audit arm for the same reason. Gerry Acher, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants' audit faculty and KPMG's head of audit, said he was delighted at the high level of support.