Danny McCance 10 Oct 2018 04:41pm

Grant Thornton says Tchenguiz “invented” allegations

The mid-tier accountancy firm has dismissed allegations by property mogul Robert Tchenguiz, who claimed that it conspired with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against him

"The allegations against three experienced and well-respected individuals have been invented, are not supported by any evidence and are bound to fail,” a spokesperson for Grant Thornton said.

Yesterday, lawyers for Tchenguiz claimed that Grant Thornton had fed information to the SFO as part of an investigation into his role in the financial crisis, according to the Times.

These claims were made on the opening day of the court case – in which Tchenguiz is seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in damages against the UK’s fifth largest firm.

“Grant Thornton UK LLP’s position is that the claim is an abuse of process,” the firm said.

The SFO arrested Tchenguiz and his brother Vincent in 2011 during a three-year investigation into their alleged involvement in the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing. It was later forced to drop the case due to serious failings.

The brothers subsequently sued the SFO for more than £200m in 2012, settling in 2014 after it agreed to pay Vincent £3m plus legal costs and Robert £1.5m plus costs.

Tchenguiz originally considered taking action against Grant Thornton in 2014, stating at the time that he wanted to pursue those who he felt were “responsible and liable for the devastation that has been caused”.

In response to the claims, Grant Thornton said Tchenguiz had already recovered any loss from the arrest and subsequent investigation by the SFO.

“He has no claim against the parties in these proceedings,” the spokesperson said, adding that the “losses” Tchenguiz is claiming resulted from “the collapse of his own disastrous investment strategy over a decade ago”.