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Manchester Building Society and another day in court with Grant Thornton

Manchester Building Society has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court over the order made by the Court of Appeal in the case of Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP. The mortgage lender said it intends to proceed with the appeal and the date of the Supreme Court hearing will be determined in due course.

The case relates to audit services provided by Grant Thornton, former auditors of the building society. Specifically the case concerns the liability of the auditor for losses incurred on long term interest rate swap agreements which were entered into in reliance upon negligent accounting advice and which were closed out at a loss (totalling around £42m) when the negligent advice came to light.

Back in 2015 Grant Thornton and two of the firm’s audit partners paid a total of more than £1m in fines and costs over failings in the audit of the building society. On 2 May 2018, the High Court awarded damages to the society but at just £315,345, this figure was significantly at variance with the building society’s claim of nearer to £50m. Costs were awarded to Grant Thornton. On 30 January 2019 the Court of Appeal upheld the first instance judgment. Now it would appear the two sides will see each other in court again for round three.

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