Andersen UK distances itself from shredding charges

The statement follows the revelation that three Andersen employees from the Houston office – a partner and two support staff – shredded documents relating to the US firm in its London office while they were on secondment in the UK.

For the firm to avoid any disciplinary action in the UK, it will be crucial for the office to demonstrate that no UK-qualified staff took part in the shredding. No evidence has emerged that this was the case, and the UK firm has moved quickly to distance itself from the US-based revelations.

The statement from the UK firm, read: ‘No Enron-related documents connected with the work of the UK firm were disposed of inappropriately.

‘In the light of the disclosures in the USA earlier this year, we commissioned an investigation into whether the document destruction alleged to have occurred in Houston extended to papers supporting the work of the UK firm in London.’

It added: ‘In the course of the UK investigation, Andersen legal counsel Herbert Smith considered the implications of the alleged instruction given by the US. They concluded that, based on their enquiries, ‘there [was] no evidence that any material Enron related documents connected to the work of the UK firm was deliberately destroyed’.

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