Arthur Andersen this week insisted it had celebrated the arbitration ruling, after it was cleared of breaching its obligations to Andersen Consulting – despite the resignation of worldwide managing partner Jim Wadia.
As a result of the decision, the Big Five firm did not have pay out any damages to its estranged sister company, but it revealed Wadia was ‘disappointed’ with certain parts of the decision. It is understood the fact AA did not win any of the $14.5bn separation fee it hoped to receive from AC was a particular blow.
A spokeswoman, said: ‘Jim’s job was partially a negotiating job. He was disappointed with some aspects, but at the end of the arbitration his job was done. He felt that at the point of the decision, it was best to hand over the reins after the episode had dominated his life.’
It was unclear whether other AA partners were aware of 52 year-old Wadia’s intention to go into early retirement after three years in the role. He was previously UK managing partner.
Louis Salvatore, head of AA’s New York offices, was named interim chief – with the firm announcing a full-time successor would be appointed within 90 days.
Salvatore said defiantly on his appointment: ‘Our focus on helping clients navigate the new economy, find sources of value in their organisation and manage risks is unwavering.’
He added: ‘The separation does not have any impact on our firm’s ability to continue to provide clients with the highest quality professional services.’
ARBITRATION HISTORY August 2000 – Dr Gamba issues his final judgment
December 1999 – Parties file closing memorials on the merits of the dispute.
October-November 1999 – Dr Gamba holds two weeks of live hearings of evidence in New York. 14 senior executives testify.
June 1999 – Parties file opening memorials and evidence on the dispute.
April 1999 – Dr Gamba issues an ‘Interim Award’ rejecting the jurisdictional objections of AA and AW.
November 1998-January 1999 AA and AW present submissions to support their objections.
June 1998 – ICC Court appoints Dr Gamba as arbitrator.
December 1997 – AC files request for arbitration with ICC.
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