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Ruling next month on Ernst & Young action

The High Court will rule early next month on whether accountancy firm Ernst & Young can bring a challenge against an investigation into its conduct as auditors of Anglo Irish Bank.

The firm wants to stop an inquiry by special investigator John Purcell, who was appointed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland's Regulatory Board (CARB).

Mr Purcell and the institute have opposed the company's action. Mr Purcell was appointed following meetings of the CARB complaints committee in 2009.

The committee formed the opinion that the matter was one which gave rise to questions of public concern and was also one of complexity and importance.

At yesterday's sitting of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said she was reserving judgment on Ernst & Young's application. The judge, following the conclusion of legal submission for both sides, said she would give her decision early next month, when the new law term begins.

The hearing was before the court after President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns directed last Friday that the firm's application to bring a High Court challenge should be made on notice to Mr Purcell and the institute.

In its proceedings, Ernst & Young are seeking an order quashing the decision to appoint the special investigator, or alternatively orders which would allow the firm access to the findings of the investigator and the right to make submissions before the findings are finalised.


Paul Sreenan, for Ernst & Young, told the court his client had been co-operating with the investigation but at the end of last month discovered no actual complaint had been made against it as required under by-laws governing the CARB process.

In response Eoin McCullough, for Mr Purcell and the institute, said his clients rejected the firm's claim that no complaint as required under the by-laws had been made.

Irish Independent