Lawyers reveal audit secrets

Maltese lawyers have won a major victory in the ongoing Parmalat investigation by reversing an order by the food giant’s special administrator Enrico Bondi not to disclose audits into the company.

In a breakthrough with far-reaching consequences, lawyers for the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) have stopped the tug-of-
war over access to Deloitte’s audits into Parmalat’s Malta companies at the centre of Italian regulatory investigations, and opened them up for inspection by independent accountants.

David Fabri, director of the MFSA’s legal and EU affairs, told The Lawyer: “These records are confidential, but we allow access to persons or authorities who can show a legal right of access to them. In fact, we accepted that Ernst & Young [provisional liquidators of Parmalat in the Caymans] and PricewaterhouseCoopers both had such a legal right. Both parties are satisfied now and have now left.”

Joe Bannister, the MFSA’s chairman, said Bondi had previously barred independent access to them. “Deloitte said it was under the authority from Parmalat not to give papers to anyone. In the end our lawyers talked to all the parties, so Deloitte handed them over,” he said.