Published: December 1999
Description: The recently completed Andersen arbitration was one of the largest, if not the largest, international arbitration ever conducted under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, the preeminent international arbitration organization. The arbitration involved as parties the more than 140 member firms spread around the globe that constituted the Andersen organization, one of the largest professional services organizations in the world. At stake was Andersen Consulting’s principal claim to be relieved of all of its contractual obligations, including its obligation to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in transfer payments annually, to Andersen Worldwide, as well as Andersen Worldwide’s counterclaim to recover over $14 billion if Andersen Consulting left the organization. The Andersen arbitration was, in essence, a global divorce proceeding of the most extraordinary proportions.
As explained below, the arbitrator granted Andersen Consulting’s claim to be released from all obligations to Respondents Andersen Worldwide and Arthur Andersen and rejected Respondents’ $14 billion counterclaims. From Claimants’ perspective, the arbitration demonstrated the unique capacity of arbitration to resolve enormous intra-organizational disputes of an international nature in a fair and efficient manner.