Patrick Lawrence QC
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Patrick has acted in a number of claims against accountants that have gone to trial and to appeal. The cases have concerned tax advice; investment advice; general financial advice to private individuals and family; and a wide range of advice to corporate clients. A representative case is Little v George Little Sebire which involved defective advice on Corporation Tax and related tax avoidance issues. He appeared in Haines Watts v Thornhill, a multi party case arising out of a container leasing tax avoidance scheme involving solicitors, accountants and tax counsel. He acted in the fall-out from the failed Cabvision litigation, which itself concerned another over-ambitious tax avoidance scheme.
Auditors’ negligence is a separate area of expertise. He has conducted three lengthy contested cases, Resort Hotels, Wiggins and Mayflower (each involving much pre-hearing investigation and drafting, and each going to a contested hearing before the tribunal) on behalf of the Joint Disciplinary Scheme, the AADB or now the FRC. He has extensive knowledge of auditing and accounting standards; and in particular of the issues that arise where auditors suspect fraud on the part of management, or where auditors are asked by management to recognise revenue/profit prematurely or inappropriately. He acted on auditor and director complaints arising out of the largest ever fraud on the AIM, Langbar International PLC - 2011-12) and arising out of the Farepak collapse (the Christmas hampers case) – 2013.