Slater & Gordon has announced that it will sue Watchstone Group, the insurer formerly known as Quindell, over the calamitous £637m acquisition of its professional service business.

S&G acquired the bulk of Quindell in March 2015. Proudly announcing the purchase at the time, S&G's managing director Andrew Grech said that the acquisition followed "a very extensive due diligence process", adding that the firm would become "the number one personal injury law group in the UK".

    Erm, if only they'd watched the video

A few months after the acquisition, the Financial Conduct Authority investigated Quindell over irregularities in its financials and discovered that the company had hugely overstated its accounts and revenue. S&G had to write down the assets that it acquired from Quindell after realising it was clutching a bag of steaming turds rather than magic beans. The catastrophic purchase contributed to the Australian firm posting over £570 million in losses last year and seeing its shares plummet.

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S&G has now announced that it will sue Watchstone Group for "approximately £600m". The firm says it will "vigorously" pursue its claim which is "based upon serious allegations against Watchstone and its then senior management, including fraud".  Although the claim of over half a billion pounds looks like wishful thinking in the extreme, as the firm adds: "the value of that claim exceeds the net assets of Watchstone and the monies currently held in escrow [£50m] by several hundred million pounds". Just a small shortfall then.

Watchstone said in a statement that it "denies any misrepresentation in the strongest terms" and would defend the claims "robustly".
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 19 May 17 15:18

How the heck can you book losses from a relatively unknown bulk-and-low-margin-work law firm which exceed (by quite some margin) the entire annual turnover of Slaughter & May? Personally, I think it must be caused by the substantial downturn in the legal market in Milton Keynes, Preston, Sheffield, Watford and Wrexham...

Anonymous 19 May 17 17:40

Where there's muck there's brass? Maybe, if you're a tosher - good luck with your searching down there, because it's getting crowded.