Australian firm Slater and Gordon has yet to bring legal proceedings against the owner of Quindell despite threats to do so, company documents show. 

The firm outlined last year that it had sought independent opinion from a barrister who said there was a prospect of success in a case against Watchstone PLC.

The claim, related to the firm’s £637m acquisition of the Quindell professional services division two years ago, would be likely to have a value of £53m.

However in its annual report to the London stock exchange, Watchstone revealed that as yet no proceedings have been brought.

The company said it will defend any claim ‘robustly’, but since proceedings have not been issued then disclosure of key evidence (if any exists) in support of the merits or quantum of a claim cannot be enforced.

Watchstone has retained £50.12m in a joint escrow account until the expiry of the warrant period or settlement of the claim.

At the time of the acquisition, it was reported that the disposal of the division involved around 53,000 noise-induced hearing loss claims.

Watchstone confirmed that to date, no deferred consideration has been paid, and it remains in ‘active dialogue’ on a number of matters including the performance of the claims, to which deferred consideration is due.

Watchstone also told investors that the Serious Fraud Office investigation, which was launched in August 2015 into historic matters, remains ongoing and the company continues to co-operate fully with it.

Overall Watchstone posted a group operating loss of £20.9m for the year ending 31 December 2016 . In 2015 the losses were £15.1m. The figure does not include the £50m held in escrow.

Group chief executive Indro Mukerjee noted in the report that during his 20 months with the company he could ‘confidently say that, with the rather broad set of things to do, there has never been a dull moment’.