We successfully defended a global audit and advisory firm BDO Audiator against criminal charges and damages claims in a professional negligence case.
A Finnish municipality had received tens of millions in government subsidies that turned out to be unfounded, resulting in the government forcing the municipality to pay back EUR 35 million. This resulted in a criminal investigation and damages claims by the municipality against former municipal officials and the auditor. The District Court dismissed the case against the auditor entirely, finding that the auditor’s actions in conducting the audit did not constitute a crime.
The matter is important because it will affect how auditors are required to perform statutory audits. A finding of criminal negligence would broaden the professional liabilities of auditors and increase the scope and cost of audits significantly.