Professional services giant PwC today dismissed as 'without merit' an investigation into an audit it conducted of a litigation funder which subsequently filed for administration.
PwC has been approached by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICEAW) over concerns raised about an audit of Juridica Investments from 2014. The complaint was raised by a Juridica shareholder. A PwC spokesperson said of the complaint: 'We believe it is without merit and are meeting with the ICAEW to help it with its inquiries.’
In a notice published last month Juridica, which funds claimants in US lawsuits, said it was intending to appoint administrators.
The company said at the time: 'The board now believes that the costs to shareholders of continuing the company in operation and maintaining an [Alternative Investment Market] listing are now outweighed by the benefits of winding-up, de-listing and liquidation. The chairman expects to write to shareholders shortly with details of an extraordinary general meeting with proposals to wind-up, de-list and appoint liquidators.’
For the six months to 30 June, Juridica posted a loss of $1.3m compared with a $526,146 profit in the same period the previous year.
Juridica was the first litigation funder to list on the London Stock Exchange, raising £80m in an initial public offering in 2007. It has since been joined by Burford Capital. Another funder, Vannin Capital, is poised to float later this month.
On its website, which is still operational, Guernsey-based Juridica said its clients are Fortune 1000 companies, FT Global 500 companies, inventors, major universities, and the law firms that represent them. It added that it accepts only cases that have already been carefully vetted and undertaken by leading lawyers.
The ICAEW is unable to comment on ongoing investigations.