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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor