Investors put swindle claim to High Court

Judgment is expected later this year in a mammoth High Court action which began on the first day of the current law term and which trains the legal spotlight on the world of international accountancy.

In the case currently before Mr Justice Dyson, the international accountancy organisation Clark Kenneth Leventhall faces a multi-million pound claim over money said to have been taken by a former executive director, Nicholas Young.

Young, son of the Queen's chaplain, is alleged to have swindled investors out of the money, using it to gamble on horses rather than investing in the high yield offshore investment funds as he had promised.

The suing investors claim, among other things, that the firm was to blame for what happened by placing Young in a position which was cloaked in respectability and for failing to adequately supervise him.

They also allege he could not have taken money without the image his position as international executive director of a prestigious group of accountancy practices gave him and the office back-up facilities that went with the position.

The 120 investors involved in the claim believe he cheated them out of around £10 million through his gambling exploits.

Young has already been convicted of fraud and has received a jail sentence.

At the opening of the case Alan Newman QC, for the investors, said their "consistent refrain" was that without the failure of the company to supervise Young and monitor his activities he would not have been able to do what he did.

The firm denies all liability for any dishonest activities.