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Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Andersen settles first court case
Andersen: Barred from the lone star state
The first case has been settled as the accountant Andersen works its way through a pile of law suits linked with its audit of the collapsed energy giant Enron.

An umbrella group, Andersen Worldwide, which represents Andersen's network of global affiliates, has agreed to pay $60m in a settlement, according to sources.

The payment is expected to be the first of many.

Two thirds of the initial payment is believed to be paid to investors and employees while the remaining third is to be paid to Enron creditors, a source said.

"This substantial settlement is a favourable result for the class in light of the limited role of the non-US Andersen entities," said James Holt, general counsel for the University of California which had invested in Enron shares.

Resigned to history

Andersen Worldwide's goal is to draw a line under legal problems which might still face some Andersen accounting subsidiaries.

Many of them have jumped ship and linked up with some of Andersen's former competitors after the US arm, Arthur Andersen, was found guilty of obstructing justice in the Enron investigation.

Andersen's global business, which last year raked in $9bn in revenues, instantly collapsed, leaving 85,000 employees in 84 countries in its wake, many of them stranded without their retirement savings.

Employees, creditors and investors have all pursued Andersen through the US courts.

Andersen has tried to prevent them from suing non-US subsidiaries by insisting that each is a separate company governed by the laws in the country where they operate.

But this has been dismissed by those bringing cases who have said that they regarded Andersen as a global firm.

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 ON THIS STORY
Ron Kilgard, lawyer for some former Enron employees
"Andersen Worldwide is only one of the Andersen entities in the case"

The trial

The disintegration

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16 Aug 02 | Business
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