Reply To: Litigation by BAA

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David Arditti

The financial statement published in the Journal is an abbreviated version of the full financial statement which should be published on the website. I have just looked for it and found it has not yet been published. My apologies for this oversight, and thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will see that it is fixed shortly.

The full financial statement has this paragraph on page 21, which answers your question:

‘The British Astronomical Association has been notified of a will in which they are beneficiary. However this is currently being contested. The charity will be liable for the advice in arriving at a decision. The cost of the legal fees to settle this case may be deducted from the estate or may be awarded against the Association. To date, approximately £30,000 of costs have been incurred by the Association and further costs of up to £70,000 could be expected.’

As you will be aware, the Trustees are elected by the members to manage the assets of the Association. They keep this case, and expenditure on it, constantly under review. They believe it is highly likely that the BAA will win this case and these costs will be recovered, plus more. However, it is our duty to tell the members that there is a chance that the case could be lost and the costs could be awarded against the Association.

You would be, of course, quite at liberty to ask questions on this at the AGM. The case of the Roy Panther estate is in the public domain, and has been widely reported.

David Arditti, President