News

£20m PwC bill for eight weeks’ work on Carillion

22 March 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Accountancy firm PwC has charged “superhuman” fees of £20.4m in the first eight weeks since the collapse of Carillion, MPs heard yesterday.

Partners from the firm, which has been handed the task of retrieving money from Carillion on behalf of its creditors and pensioners, told the MPs heading the inquiry into the contractor’s demise that they had no idea how much they would end up charging.

David Kelly, Special Manager for PwC in Carillion’s liquidation, told the committee that the firm was charging £1.4m a week to employ 112 staff to keep the company running and to honour government contracts.

He added that it would take until June at the earliest until the firm had an idea of the total bill for its work.

Kelly’s personal rate is £865 an hour, he revealed, but said that PwC’s costs would eventually fall as more parts of Carillion were sold.

Meanwhile, he told MPs that 8,500 jobs at Carillion have been saved so far, while a total of 1,500 have been made redundant.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves described PwC’s fees as “superhuman”.

She said: “If I pay someone £20.4m working for eight weeks, I would expect them to have some grasp of how much it might cost.”

A spokesperson for PwC said: “We were appointed because of our ability to deliver the scale, skills and experience at the speed required to minimise the disruption caused by the collapse of Carillion.”

Earlier in the session, business secretary Greg Clark said the government may consider shaking up the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which earlier this week announced that it would be investigating two of Carillion’s former finance directors, Richard Adam and Zafar Khan.

The FRC is responsible for regulating the accountancy profession but has come under fire after several high-profile collapses of businesses which had had their accounts signed off by auditors.

Clark said: “I think we should look at the operation of the FRC to see if there are any changes to be made.”

Comments

He gets paid £865 per hour, that is obscene, but then again how do they justify £1.4m a week for 112 staff. Doesn't look like there is going to be a lot left for the subbies and suppliers once PwC have had their fees.

Mozz, 22 March 2018

£1.4m per week for 112 staff. isn't that £12,500 per member of staff per week?
That is some salary. Any chance I can have a job with PwC to run the contracts, afterall I have 30 years in the industry and a bit more experience than some accountant.
Looks as though someone is getting ripped off somewhere along the line. But don't worry I'm sure the taxpayer will pick up the tab.

len Arnold, 22 March 2018

In come the accountants - to bayonet the wounded. What a disgrace.

D. Wisbey, 22 March 2018

Sadly another example of decline in the modern U.K.
Companies that have to produce or manufacture must do so against competitors on tight timescales, and let's face it "cut each other's throats" to obtain work, which they then struggle to complete on time and to any decent quality standard due to years of neglect in training operatives to anything like a decent standard.
Much better profit in service and support industry

Tony Callaghan, 23 March 2018

Yes, once the greedy vultures have finished pecking at the dead carcass, there’ll be very little left for anyone else, apart from the sun bleached bones. Happy feasting PwC!!!

Frank Summers, 23 March 2018

Leave a comment