Tom Custance, head of litigation at the four partners’ solicitors, Fox Williams, said the ‘bizarre’ decision to enforce a disputed notice period on the partners in the first part of the case was not necessarily the end of the matter.
‘If there is no settlement and no other form of satisfactory compromise is reached, the rest of the case will be going ahead,’ he said.
A second stage to the dispute would focus on the enforceability of restrictive covenants that would prevent the partners from talking to former clients for two years after they finally leave Deloitte on 31 May.
Custance said he could not rule out the possibility that an appeal may be lodged against the original decision.
Rustom Kharegat, Robert Ohrenstein, Helen Pratten and John Oldcorn joined Deloitte from Andersen in 2002, but they failed to settle after disagreements over Euro-pean strategy and the restructuring of their department.
Sources in the industry have speculated that the partners’ decision to quit could be part of a wider malaise among Deloitte’s ex-Andersen staff, a suggestion emphatically rejected by the firm last week.
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