Sir Philip Green set to kick off court battle with watchdog over BHS audit

BHS fell into administration in 2016 with the loss of 11,000 jobs (Isabel Infantes/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Philip Green will kick-start his court battle with the accountancy watchdog on Thursday as he seeks a judicial review of a report on PwC’s audit of BHS.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has slapped PwC with a £10 million fine for its 2014 audit of the retail chain, which was sold to a serial bankrupt for £1 ahead of its demise in 2016.

The FRC also sanctioned Steve Denison, the audit partner responsible, and banned him from performing audit work for 15 years.

However, the body has not yet detailed why it has sanctioned PwC and Mr Denison, drawing outrage from MPs.

Sir Philip’s holding company Taveta Investments is now seeking a judicial review of the FRC’s report, with the first hearing of the case taking place in the High Court on Thursday.

Sir Philip is pressing the FRC to change certain aspects of the report, believing it could expose his business dealings in relation to BHS.

BHS collapsed in the summer of 2016 with a sizeable pension deficit and the loss of 11,000 jobs, triggering a parliamentary inquiry spearheaded by Frank Field MP.

MPs ultimately called for Sir Philip’s knighthood to be rescinded.

Mr Field, who branded Sir Philip the “unacceptable face of capitalism”, has been pressing the FRC to reveal Sir Philip’s demands, and to publish its findings on the discredited audit.

Mr Field wrote to both PwC and Mr Denison on Wednesday to ask for details about the audit.

He has asked PwC how many staff members worked on the audit, and whether any staff engaged in the work provided any other services to Sir Philip’s Taveta Group.