Slater & Gordon to sue Watchstone for £600m over failed Quindell acquisition

Slater & Gordon is suing insurance, tech and healthcare company Watchstone for £600m over a deal made in 2015 to acquire the professional services division of the company when it was called Quindell.

The law firm claims that the former CEO of Quindell overstated the worth of the division when there were talks for S&G to acquire it in 2014.

Slater & Gordon claims the firm suffered from financial difficulty as a result of the failed acquisition. The firm suffered a £493m loss in the first six months of the 2015/16 financial year after an FCA investigation into Quindell’s profit figures led to the numbers being restated.

Watchstone Group announced on the London Stock Exchange today that it had received a claim by Slater & Gordon for £600m, which a source said was “entirely expected”. S&G intends to bring proceedings forward by the end of this month.

The £600m claim is the latest development in an ongoing process with Slater and Gordon, which announced in November last year that it intended to recover some of the £50m purchase price of Quindell, which was held in escrow during the acquisition.

In November last year, Stefan Borson, who became general counsel of the company when it was renamed Watchstone, told The Lawyer: “Given their intimate knowledge of the industry and deal experience, they were rigorous in their due diligence and we allowed them and their advisers the access to carry out a full process.

“We don’t believe there are grounds for a claim and will defend it robustly.”

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