July 16, 2018

Judge Didn’t Buy PwC’s Story, Rejects Call for Mistrial

pwc-mf-global-trial-motion-rejection

Judge Victor Marrero rejected PwC’s argument that MF Global’s attorneys were presenting a new theory of causation in their case, dealing the firm a setback in the trial.

PwC claimed that the plaintiffs were conducting a “trial by ambush.” From Reuters:

PwC said the administrator has in three years of litigation blamed the bankruptcy on a $6.3 billion European sovereign debt wager that the futures and commodities brokerage would not have made but for its negligent accounting advice.

But PwC said it was blindsided when the administrator at trial began blaming confusion and a lack of trust among customers, investors and lenders in MF Global’s financial statements, which in turn were caused by PwC’s advice.

PwC wanted Marrero to throw out all the evidence that referenced “confusion” or “lack of trust” and disallow any further evidence of a similar nature. If that wasn’t going to happen, then the firm wanted a mistrial.

Judge Marrero didn’t buy it, writing:

Although PwC may well be surprised that some of the prior allegations in the case may differ from theory of causation the plan administrator has advanced up to this point at trial, because that theory has been disclosed before, PwC cannot at this late stage claim to be prejudiced. The trial was scheduled to last as much as five weeks. PwC’s Motion was filed after the first week and following the testimony of only one MF Global executive. The weeks remaining should afford PwC sufficient time to respond to any shift it perceives in the Plan Administrator’s theory.

PwC’s lawyers are playing it cool, though. Reuters quotes one of the firm’s attorneys, Rich Marooney, as saying that the firm “expects to win at trial ‘regardless of the causation theory.'”

Gotta stay positive, right?

[Reuters, MF Globgal Decision on PwC Misc Motion]

Related articles

In Case You Need Another Reason to Hate the French

french flag.jpgWalking around the PwC office in Midtown Manhattan, our blogospondent in the field happened across a couple of young ladies having the picture taken in front of the P Dubya sign out front, proudly posing as if it was their names on the building at 300 Madison.
Said blogospondent approached the young ladies and asked if they worked at the P Dub and they responded in heavily French accents, “yes”. As result of further prying, it was revealed that the ladies do work a lot during “busy times”, sometimes between 50 and 60 hours a week!
This compared to an American tax associate who we spoke to just a couple days before who, in the last fifteen days, had worked 185 hours.
Let’s recap: America – 185 hours in 15 days in the middle of June vs. France – 50-60 hours in one week during the “busy time”.
American vitriol towards the French may now ensue.

PwC Needs a Lesson or Two in Spin

240px-PricewaterhouseCoopers.svg.pngIn, lets talk about anything but Satyam, PwC news, the largest Big 4 firm was rated highest among professional service providers on brand recognition in the Brand Finance Top 50 ranking of Best Brands of British Origin.
“Chairman of PwC [in the UK] Ian Powell said the recognition was ‘testament to the strength and reach of our clients, the talents of our people, and the contribution that we make to the wider community.'”
We won’t take anything away from PwC but sometimes bad news is the best news for brand recognition. So this whole Satyam thing is probably not getting the credit it deserves. Come on P. Dubs! Lemons into lemonade!

PwC most recognised professional services brand
[Accountancy Age]