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Wilkins Kennedy refused Harlequin appeal

The Court of Appeal has denied top 20 UK firm Wilkins Kennedy permission to appeal its £9m damages payment over its scandal with Harlequin. This was the second and final appeal application.

Tom Govan, communications director at Wilkins Kennedy said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Court of Appeal has refused our application for permission to appeal.”

Hotel resort and property developing firm Harlequin was awarded the result of $11.6m (£9.14m) in damages from ex-accountants Wilkins Kennedy in December over professional negligence.

Wilkins Kennedy took on Harlequin’s building company, ICE, as a client, without informing their client Harlequin. Both companies were in a dispute over the costs of the building work at the time, and it was concluded by the judge that ICE was significantly overpaid ($50m instead of $24.7m). There was also an unusually close relationship between ICE’s boss Padraig O’Halloran and Martin MacDonald of Wilkins Kennedy (who had been referred to as Harlequin’s CFO).

Justice Coulson said in December that senior representatives of Wilkins Kennedy did not have “the first clue as to any rule relating to client confidentiality.”

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