The Worthington Group is suing its former auditors for damages following claims that accounting errors wiped more than £2 million off the value of its shares.

The claim has been initiated by the textile group¹s chairman, Joe Dwek, who says that the value of Worthington Group's assets was overstated when he stepped in, personally, to underwrite the group's acquisition of the clothing and furnishings business, Jerome, in 1998.

The following year, says the Worthington Group, £10.5 million had to be written off its accounts following the discovery of alleged accounting errors. The discovery resulted in Worthington Group's shares losing £2.2 million in value - the sum for which former auditors BDO Stoy Hayward is now being sued.

The legal manoeuvring involves Joe Dwek lodging a claim against his own company - Worthington. Worthington Group is in turn suing the auditors and there is a dispute resolution agreement in place to ensure that Joe Dwek's claim will only be paid if the group¹s claim against the auditors is successful.

"Joe Dwek has given an assurance that he will not proceed against Worthington unless the action against the auditors goes ahead," said Worthington Group's chief executive, John Taylor. The claim is being disputed by BDO Stoy Hayward.

By Clive Hinchliffe.