For use of information media - Not an official record

15 March 1996

A distinguished group of international experts will participate in a one-day Forum on Responsibilities and Liabilities of Accountants and Auditors on Thursday 16 March. The Forum is organized in the framework of the current annual meeting of the UNCTAD Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR).

Eminent panelists will address the following topics:

Richard H. Murray, Esq., Director of Claims and Risk Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Minet Global Professional Services (advisory services on auditor liabilities insurance)

  • The dimension of the liability problem.
  • The availability of liability insurance and mandatory insurance requirements.
  • The very limited relevance of insurance as protection against the liability crisis.
  • The influence of national laws on litigation: the statutes in the United States.
  • The development of limited liability organizations: limited liability partnerships in the United States and incorporation of professional practices in the United Kingdom.
  • Lessons learned from litigation experiences.

Werner Ebke, Esq, Professor of Law and Former Dean, School of Law, Universitat Konstanz, practising attorney, former Judge, author of "The Civil Liability of Corporate Auditors: An International Perspective", published by the International Bar Association, Germany

  • A contrast of professional liabilities in common law countries with liabilities in civil law countries.
  • The importance of financial reporting and auditing in market economies.
  • The licensing and governance of professional auditors.
  • The importance of clearly defining the objective of an audit.
  • What should and what should not be the purpose of laws on contractual and statutory duties of professional persons.
  • What emerging market economies should consider in adopting laws affecting professional persons.

Carl D. Liggio, Esq., Former General Counsel, Ernst & Young (New York), USA

  • The underlying cause of the boom of litigation against accountants
  • The concept of judgement in the professional decision process -- a professional does not guarantee a result
  • Causation and malpractice claims against accountants
  • Approved formulations of an "Informed Judgement Standard" in malpractice areas
  • Proposed language for a "Causation" statute

C. Ch. Mout, Esq., Partner, Law Firm of Nauta Dutilh, The Netherlands

  • The inter-relationship of professional standards, professional rules and legislation James K. Loebbecke, Professor of Auditing and Accounting and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (David Eccles School of Business), University of Utah, Principal, Norman/Loebbecke Associates (litigation consultants). Author of leading textbooks and numerous articles in major accounting publications on auditing.
  • The movement for tort laws reform in the United States:
    • issues concerning tort laws
    • positions taken by persons and groups affected
    • arguments for and against changes to existing laws
  • Lessons learned from accountants´ malpractice experiences

In addition, presentations will be made by Bernard P. Germond, President of the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (France), Member of the Executive Committee, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Chairman of the IFAC Task Force on Auditor Litigation, France and David Darbyshire, Esq., Partner, Arthur Andersen & Co. (London), Vice President, Federation of European Accountants, United Kingdom.

For more information, please contact:
Ramon de Reyna, UNCTAD Division for Transnational Corporations and Investment
T: +41 22 907 58 02
F: +41 22 907 00 55
Carine Richard-Van Maele, Press Officer of UNCTAD
T: +41 22 907 5816/28
F: +41 22 907 0043
E: amanda.waxman@unctad.org


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