PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen lawyers come out fighting

Andersen lawyers come out fighting

As crippled firm Andersen began its defence against obstruction of justice charges, its lawyers have argued that it never ordered the destruction of documents relating to Enron.

A witness for the firm testified that an email, which the prosecution claimed ordered the shredding of vital documents, was in fact merely a reminder of firm’s policy of data retention, according to reports.

Andersen executive Richard Corgel told a Houston Court: ‘Nancy Temple (Andersen lawyer) gave advice as to what we should be retaining for purposes of documenting our conclusions.’

The firm began its defence yesterday (Monday) after its bid to have the charges dismissed, was rejected by judge Melinda Harmon.

The prosecution case ended earlier on Monday with FBI agent Paula Schanzle testifying that email deletions by three senior Andersen partners trebled around 8 October, the day the firm spoke with outsider lawyers about the Enron case.

Enron collapsed in December 2001, the biggest ever bankruptcy in US corporate history.

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