Jessica Fino 17 Aug 2018 12:30pm

PwC partners earn £1,156 per hour in Carillion liquidation

PwC has revealed that its partners working on the insolvency of Carillion have been paid up to £1,156 per hour

In a letter published by MPs, the firm gave details of how much its staff were paid during the first eight weeks as liquidators of the collapse construction company.

According to correspondence published by the joint Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committees this week, the firm worked 57,534 hours during the first two months after Carillion entered into administration.

Of these, 13,656 hours have been charged by specialist workers required to assist PwC’s restructuring staff due to the complexities of the work involved.

These hours had a time cost of £5.368m at an average rate of £393 per hour.

However, the firm’s pension specialists were the highest paid, with partners receiving £1,156 hourly and directors £1,060 per hour.

Previously it was revealed that PwC could be paid a total of £50m for its work on Carillion.

The Big Four firm said the costs in terms of its fees for the first eight weeks of the liquidation were of £20.4m, representing 57,500 hours at an average rate of £356 per hour.

However, at the time of sending the letter in March, the firm was yet to raise invoices or produce bills. These will only be raised once an application to the High Court has been made and approved.

A PwC spokesperson said, "We understand concerns over the cost of the liquidation, however, without this work the cost to UK jobs, the economy and the taxpayer would be considerably higher.

“From the outset it has been clear that PwC’s fees for assisting the Official Receiver on the liquidation of Carillion will be subject to scrutiny and approval by the Official Receiver and the Court."

MPs have previously accused all the Big Four firms of “feasting” on Carillion after the firms received a combined total of £71.6m in fees.

The committees found that PwC had been paid the most of the four firms, receiving a total of £21.1m – of which £8.5m was from Carillion, £6.5m from the government and £6.1m from pension schemes.

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Frank Field, said at the time that PwC “managed to play all three sides” and is now being paid to work as special managers.

“It was perhaps telling that, with their three fellow oligarchs conflicted, PwC were appointed to this lucrative position without any competition,” he added.

In its correspondence to Frank Field and chair of the BEIS select committee, Rachel Reeves, PwC said it had managed to employ 6,423 members of Carillion staff.

Meanwhile, 9,073 were transferred with the contracts which have been migrated, 976 have resigned and 1,705 have been made redundant.