New York (July 14, 2003) -- After 17 years at public accounting firms, former BDO Seidman general counsel Scott Univer has left the profession to return to his first love -- litigation.

Univer, the longtime spokesman for BDO, has joined the litigation group at New York law firm, Piper Rudnick, and will focus on counseling companies on regulations related to the Sarbanes-Oxley law.

"BDO was a wonderful firm and a terrific place to work," Univer told WebCPA. "The timing (of my departure) is explained by Sarbanes-Oxley. "It presents an amazing, once-in-a-career opportunity to harness my 17 years of experience in the accounting profession, including intensive work these past two years on the Sarbanes law, to help companies cope with the vast new rules and complicated requirements in a changed legal environment."

Univer spent 12 years at BDO, joining the firm at the tail end of the Cenco case, a precedent-setting lawsuit that established the right of auditors to sue former clients for fraud. He also worked on the Universal Casualty case, which went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. "The chief executive of this offshore reinsurance company turned out to be a thief and we established that auditors were not responsible for telling him he's a thief -- he already knew that," Univer quipped.

Aside from his general counsel duties, Univer was quoted widely as an industry observer, and served as BDO's official spokesman. BDO did not immediately return calls about Univer’s replacement.

"I evolved into the role," Univer said. "Many of issues that required public comment were attention-grabbing litigations or legal complications or changes in the law. And the firm recognized that I am able to reduce some fairly complicated situations down to meaningful and direct statements that make sense."

Prior to BDO, Univer worked at Ernst & Young and its predecessor, Arthur Young.

-- Tracey Miller-Segarra

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