Chicago (May 1, 2002) -- In a move to protect their benefits, a group of retired Andersen partners filed a request for a restraining order against Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide to stop the firms from divesting practice units and member firms to its rivals at "nominal prices."The request was filed April 29 in Federal District court in Chicago. A hearing on the restraining order was set for Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman for Mulroy Scandaglia Marrinson & Ryan, the law firm representing the group.

In addition to seeking the restraining order, the amended complaint asks the court to order Arthur Andersen LLP and Andersen Worldwide, S.C. to undertake emergency arbitration for enforcement of non-compete and member firm contracts and for payment and securing of the retirement and other benefits that they paid for by deductions from their income during their employment years at Andersen.

An initial a request for a restraining order was filed on March 22 and then withdrawn. According to a statement from the law firm, the group deferred an emergency court hearing scheduled for March 26 at the request of Andersen management "in consideration of promises to provide information about the terms of proposed divestitures as well as financial and retirement benefits information, all relevant to the retired partners as a major creditor."

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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