The move by a number of the Towers Perrin custody consulting team in Australia to join Deloitte & Touche Consulting in Melbourne has been followed by legal proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court.
Among those known to have crossed over to Deloittes are the former head of the Towers custody practice Davis Taplin – now head of custody consulting services, and Ilana Wald, now client director at Deloitte & Touche.
Taplin had been responsible for developing the world-wide custody practice at Towers Perrin – running it globally from Australia.
It is believed Towers Perrin wanted to split the practice regionally rather than run it from Australia and that this may have been one of the factors that sparked the defection to Deloittes.
Warren Burford, principal at Towers Perrin in Australia, confirms: “This is one of the issues that is going to be considered by the court. The case involves some very serious matters and we are seeking injunctions against the other parties”.
The case provisionally opened on October 20 but was adjourned to allow the cross-examination of the parties involved. “The judge has commented that he expected certain witnesses to be made available and this will now be happening”, said Burford. He added that it was inappropriate for Towers Perrin to make any further comment.
Geoff Roberts at Deloitte & Touche in Melbourne confirmed the case involved the movement of a team from Towers Perrin, although he declined to comment further.
A ruling is expected at the beginning of November by presiding judge
Justice Mandie of the Victorian Supreme Court.