Slater and Gordon vs Quindell settled just before trial starts

International tax firm rebrands and expands both scale and scope… Facebook hopes to protect WhatsApp privacy in supreme court case…

Slater and Gordon vs Quindell settled just before trial starts
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Slater and Gordon vs Quindell settled just before trial starts
The dispute over Slater and Gordon’s acquisition of the professional services business of Quindell has been settled.

The now-separate Slater and Gordon UK business was suing Watchstone Group (formerly Quindell) for alleged breaches of warranty, deceit and fraudulent misrepresentation against Watchstone and individuals relating to the sale of the Group's professional services division in 2015.

But just hours before the trial was due to begin, the two parties agreed an unconditional settlement.

In a filing to the London Stock Exchange, Watchstone Group plc says the settlement is made “without admission of liability by either party” and covers “all of S&G's claims or potential claims”.

Watchstone does not accept that there was a proper basis for the S&G Claims and S&G does not accept that there was a proper basis for the counterclaim.

“The decision was made with consideration of the costs of pursuing the Company's defence and counterclaim at trial and to the inherent uncertainty of the outcome of any legal process," said Richard Rose, Non-executive Chairman of Watchstone.

S&G will receive £11 million of the £50 million held in escrow with the remainder returned to Watchstone. Neither party has applied for costs.

International tax firm rebrands and expands both scale and scope
A US firm which has been built on its tax specialism for private clients is expanding its focus and geographical coverage.

Andersen added the word ‘Tax’ to its brand five years ago but has now dropped it for its expanding international network, reflecting its wider scope.

The firm operates a Swiss verein with its Andersen Global network of international members comprising tax and legal professionals. Legal services are offered in 49 of the 57 countries in which it operates.

As well as the US, the firm has a presence in Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, and has just announced expansion with a member firm in India.

Facebook hopes to protect WhatsApp privacy in supreme court case
Facebook is awaiting a ruling by India’s Supreme Court which will determine its ability to protect the identity of users of its WhatsApp platform.

The court will decide whether social media and messaging services can be forced to trace and reveal original senders of a message.  A provincial government says that this is necessary for law enforcement to tackle crimes such as child pornography and hate speeches.

India’s national government says that it may decide to regulate social media to protect democracy and the Supreme Court ruling could mean changes to services such as WhatsApp, which has end-to-end encryption, which may have a global impact.

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