Even £31.7 Million Spent On Quindell Due Diligence Couldn’t Help Slater & Gordon

“Crazyland” accounting at Quindell, horse trading and meetings at Heathrow. All we need is an evil head of security and we’d have a new Tom Clancy novel.


The UK Law Gazette reports

In its 137-page defence, Watchstone states that Slater and Gordon spent £31.7m on the ‘most rigorous’ due diligence over five months. Four organisations, named as accountant EY, global law firm Macfarlanes, and bankers Citigroup and Greenhill, were brought in by Slater and Gordon and they given access to a ‘digital data room’ with 1,600 documents to review.

The parties met at Heathrow in November 2014 to discuss terms of the deal and, in March 2015, EY produced a 194-page report following due diligence.

The defence notes that a brief period of what Watchstone calls ‘horse trading’ over the telephone began, with Quindell asking initially for between £900m and £1.2bn. Within three days that had been haggled down to £640m by then managing director Andrew Grech.

The defence states that Slater and Gordon was aware of Quindell’s well-publicised accounting issues, and had stayed away from the company’s accounting policies which it described as ‘just crazy land’.

On the claim of deceit, Watchstone says: ‘S&G pleads no primary facts amounting to fraud or dishonesty and instead seeks to make out its case by reliance upon inference, innuendo, email extracts presented out of context, and unparticularised conversations.’

More at https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/revealed-slater-and-gordon-spent-317m-scrutinising-quindell-figures/5063294.article?utm_source=dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%20GAZ141016