Barings win right to sue auditors in UK

ING Barings has won the right to sue former auditors of its Singapore operation in the UK courts for S$41bn (pounds 460m) each. Liquidators working for ING Barings are suing the Singapore arms of Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte & Touche, which oversaw the Barings Futures arm that brought down the bank last year.

Spokesmen for Coopers and Deloitte in Britain stressed this would only affect the Singapore parts of these firms, which are separate legal entities.

Price Waterhouse, on behalf of ING Barings, will, however, be able to summon Barings directors to testify in the case. ING Barings was formed after the Dutch bank ING rescued Barings following the Nick Leeson debacle last year.

The UK High Court judge Justice Chadwick yesterday threw out an application by Coopers Singapore. Two Coopers auditors claimed that the ING Barings lawsuit had no legal validity in the UK because any alleged negligence took place abroad.

The judge said a UK court hearing would be the best option in the case. The ruling will oblige Barings directors, some of whom were blamed by a Bank of England report for allowing Leeson to remain undetected, to give evidence in court.

Mr Justice Chadwick told the court: "I am satisfied that composite proceedings in London offer the best chance of achieving the two objectives which I regard as paramount.

"That is to say firstly avoiding the risk that different courts will reach different conclusions on the same underlying facts and secondly avoiding the risk that Deloitte & Touche or Coopers and Lybrand (Singapore) will be sued in both London and Singapore in respect to the same transactions."

He added: "Most, if not all of the relevant witnesses are based in London and, if not called by the plaintiffs will be available on subpoena."

Coopers and Deloitte performed the audits for Barings Futures before the bank's collapse.

Singapore-based Rajah and Tann, solicitors for Price Waterhouse, have said its claim is in excess of S$1bn each for negligence in the audits of Barings Futures. Nick Leeson lost more than pounds 860m while in control of Barings Futures leading up to and after Christmas 1994.

The suit, filed in Singapore's High Court, also claims that the auditors failed to detect Leeson's hidden account 88888, which he used to hide the gigantic losses that brought down Britain's oldest merchant bank.

Deloitte & Touche is being sued for negligence for the period 1992-1993 and Coopers & Lybrand for the period from then leading up to the firm's collapse in February 1995.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Travel
travel
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
News
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
news
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Graduate Recruitment Resourcers - Banking Technologies

£18000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Huxley Associates are looking...

Associate Recruitment Consultant - IT

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...

Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform