Phones 4U administrators PwC have appointed one of the country’s top insolvency experts to asses whether to launch a damages claim against mobile operators, according to a report by The Telegraph.
PwC has appointed Paul Copley to investigate whether to initiate a damages claim in the “upper hundreds of millions” against mobile operators over their alleged role in the collapse of Phones 4U in 2014.
According to sources Copley will lead the assessments, which PwC believes could show mobile operators unlawfully colluded to cut Phones 4U out of the market.
PwC has been the overall administrator for Phones 4U for more than four years after the mobile retailer collapsed in September 2014 causing the loss of 3,500 jobs nationwide.
“Paul will be responsible for assessing the merits of any potential claim and determining whether or not to pursue legal action. The remaining three administrators will in turn focus their attention on other matters in the administration,” PwC told The Telegraph.
Copley will work independently of PwC, solely examining the alleged unlawful collusion against mobile operators.
Back in April 2012, Three was the first operator to cut ties with Phones 4U in order to deal directly with its customers.
Less than two years later O2 did the same, creating a domino effect with Vodafone ending its trading relationship with Phones 4U in autumn 2014.
EE followed soon after, announcing its decision to stop trading with the company in September 2014.
It’s believed PwC has drafted in Copley to avoid any claims of conflict of interest if the accusations were to make it to court.
PwC currently works as the administrator to Phones 4U as well as auditor of Vodafone.
It’s thought Copley’s appointment could signal that a final decision on court claims is due in the next few weeks.