In what is by far the largest settlement in the current wave of securities litigation involving Chinese companies, Ernst &Young, which served as the outside auditor for Sino-Forest, has agreed to pay C$117 million to settle the securities suit that  Sino-Forest investors filed  in Ontario against the accounting firm. (At current exchange rates, the Canadian

As reflected in a recently released and detailed analysis of audit firms’ current litigation and prior lawsuit settlements, the audit firs’ litigation challenges are a serious and growing problem. The July 2009 presentation by Mark Cheffers, the CEO of Audit Analytics, is entitled "Accounting Professional Liability: Scorecards and Commentary" and can be found here.

In the latest twist in the long-running options backdating saga, and in what appears to be a significant milestone in the options backdating-related gatekeeper claims, on June 15, 2009, Vitesse Semiconductor announced (here) that it had reached a settlement with its former auditor, KPMG LLP, in connection with the option backdating related allegations.

In a development that may foreshadow further "gatekeeper" claims as part of the current credit crisis litigation wave, on April 1, 2009, the trustee for the New Century Financial Corp. liquidation initiated lawsuits in California and New York against KPMG and its international parent, seeking to recover $1 billion in damages for negligence and for

In a sweeping 581-page report (here), the examiner appointed in connection with the New Century Financial Corporation bankruptcy found that New Century “engaged in a number of significant improper and imprudent practices related to its loan originations” that “created a ticking time bomb that detonated in 2007.”

Bankruptcy examiner Michael J. Missal issued