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Judge in car auction finance row might consider document destruction claims

An accounting firm says it discharged its statutory duties and will mount a vigorous defence.

A High Court judge analysing a row over the financing of a car auction firm which went into liquidation may consider allegations relating to the “destruction of documentation”.

The businessman who ran Premier Motor Auctions, which was based in Leeds, has been embroiled in a legal battle with Lloyds Bank and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for more than a year.

Liquidators have complained that Lloyds gained effective control over Premier Motor Auctions, which also operated a unique registration plate before going into liquidation in 2010, after conspiring with PwC.

Lloyds and PwC deny the allegations.

They say former managing director Keith Elliott ran the company into the ground after drawing heavily on funds to support an extravagant lifestyle.

The liquidator's case is misconceived and we will be vigorously defending the claim PwC

Mr Justice Snowden is due to oversee a trial during April and May.

Lawyers representing liquidators have flagged an issue “concerning the destruction of documentation by PwC”.

They say PwC has “responded” but say they may raise the issue during the trial.

Barristers have spelled out concerns in a written case outline given to the judge at a preliminary hearing.

A PwC spokesman said he could not discuss “ongoing proceedings”.

But he said: “The liquidator’s case is misconceived and we will be vigorously defending the claim.”

He added: “PwC discharged its statutory duties to creditors and acted properly throughout.”

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