The ‘Big Six’ accountancy firms are poised to recruit a PR or lobbying
agency in a bid to change the rules governing law suits for negligence
The firms, which include Price Waterhouse and Touche Ross, recently saw
four agencies, thought to include Shandwick, GJW, Hill and Knowlton and
Lowe Bell Political.
The Big Six, who used Ian Greer Associates in 1994 for a related
campaign, are thought to have favoured GJW but have put the recruitment
process temporarily on hold.
The profession wants to limit ‘joint and several liability’ which
currently makes all of a firm’s partners personally responsible for
losses in cases of negligence. It also wants to be able to include
clauses limiting auditors’ liability in client contracts.
The search for an agency is the latest step in the accountants’
campaign. In May, leading firms, and such bodies as the National
Association of Pension Funds and the Building Employers Confederation,
wrote to Ian Lang, President of the Board of Trade, demanding a change
in the law.
Earlier, several of the ‘Big Six’ threatened to relocate to Jersey over
the issue. This reputedly galvanised Deputy Prime Minister Michael
Heseltine, to ask the Department of Trade and Industry to speed up legal