Andersen Consulting has blasted the chances of it losing its brand name as ‘Arthur Andersen fantasy’ – as both parties wait for the outcome of the arbitration to decide their futures, writes Alex Miller. The outburst came as the two and a half year dispute between Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting builds up to its culmination, with a resolution expected next week. International arbitrator and Colombian lawyer Dr Guillermo Gamba, working in tandem with the International Chamber of Commerce, was expected to have appeared before a Paris court this week to discuss the decision, ahead of the announcement being made to both parties. However, Jon Conahan, the AC partner in charge of arbitration claimed whatever the decision, the firm would not lose its name and that the idea ‘was not even an issue’. Conahan told Accountancy Age the two parties had no future together and added: ‘The arbitrator realises we have built up this brand and if anything AA has been riding on our back – and hopes to continue to do that for a bit longer’. However an AA spokesman disagreed and added that an agreement between the two parties said the Andersen name and technology would be brought back to the firm. He added: ‘The arbitration is likely to decide if the parties separate, whether they should change their name or not. We are confident of the outcome but will not speculate what that may be.’ The case centres on claims AA breached an agreement not to compete in business consulting with AC. The arbitrator will also decide who is responsible for the legal fees, which may be as high as #70m. More on this story www.accountancyage.com/Practice/1100543.
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