Mid-tier accountancy firm Grant Thornton is reportedly set to face a £200m lawsuit from the liquidators of former bakery chain Patisserie Valerie.
According to the Financial Times, the liquidators are moving forward with a legal challenge after claiming alleged negligence over Grant Thornton’s audits of the firm between 2014-2017.
Patisserie Valerie collapsed at the beginning of 2019 following the discovery of a £40m accounting fraud which is believed to centre around false invoices.
The FT reports that in a report to creditors FRP advisory, who are currently liquidating the chain, said: “The liquidators . . . have been advised that Grant Thornton were negligent in the preparation and conduct of the 2014 to 2017 financial statements.”
FRP reportedly adds that “large accounting misstatements” resulted in Patisserie Valerie being unaware of its true financial position.
Commenting on the reports, a spokesperson for Grant Thornton UK LLP told Accountancy Today: “We will rigorously defend the claim. Patisserie Valerie is a case that involves sustained and collusive fraud, including widespread deception of the auditors. The claim ignores the board’s and management’s own failings.
“As the matter is subject to an ongoing FRC investigation and civil claim, we are unable to comment further.”