Accountancy Age exclusive: Andersens civil war to be settled out of court

Senior Arthur Andersen partners see last week’s admission by Consulting boss Joe Forehand that he would be willing to enter round table negotiations with AA counterpart Jim Wadia ‘as a significant step’.

One senior source said: ‘Arthur Andersen is very interested to know what Forehand is proposing and this split may still be settled out of court.

Jim Wadia has already said he would be interested to hear any proposals and enter talks with George Forehand. There is likely to be white smoke at the end of April.’

No talks are understood to have been confirmed between the two parties as yet. But if the two parties were to agree a compromise the likely result would be for them to report their agreement to the arbitrator, who would then announce the fact AC had withdrawn its request for arbitration.

Consulting olive branch came as the firm reported a sharp drop in revenue growth last year. Global revenues climbed 8% to $8.9bn for the year to December 31, compared with a 24% rise the previous year.

Although Consulting has claimed the dispute with its sister firm has had no effect on its business, some observers say the long-running public dispute has harmed the image of both firms.

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