Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott has written to Britain’s biggest accountants to challenge them over their role in `prepack’ administrations.

Prepacks are the controversial move whereby a tenant’s business goes into administration before a solvent element is immediately bought out by the existing management.

The infuriates landlords, who see a tenant escape their liabilities, and other retailers, who believe that their rivals who use the pre-pack tactic have an unfair advantage and are being rewarded for failure.

Writing in today’s Property Week, Oakeshott, who is also managing director of property and equity fund manager OLIM, says: `I am writing to Britain’s leading accountancy firms to challenge them on their collusion in prepacks and to ask about safeguards against conflicts of interest and unfair treatment of suppliers, creditors and prospective buyers of the business.

`Top accountants spend millions promoting their image as good corporate citizens. They must wake up to the questionable practices of their insolvency and corporate recovery teams.’