Preston Torbert Gives Lecture on the Downfall of Arthur Andersen
On November 19, 2014, Preston Torbert returned to Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) to present a lecture about the downfall of Arthur Andersen, one of the largest and most prestigious accounting firms in the world. The lecture focused on various theories about what caused the firm’s collapse, ranging from corporate governance failures, to severe breaches of professional ethics and standards, to ambiguity in the way the firm carried out its policies and internal operating procedures. The latter cause – ambiguity – is a topic that Mr. Torbert researches and teaches. His recent law review article – A Study of the Risks of Contract Ambiguity – was published in Volume 2, Issue 1 (2014) of STL’s Peking University Transnational Law Review. The article was one of the top ten most downloaded articles on SSRN in the fields of Contracts, Commercial Law, and Securities Law. Professor Torbert is a long-time visiting professor at STL, teaching a very pragmatic course on ambiguity and problems in multilingual contracts. He currently is Senior Counsel at Baker & McKenzie, where he was one of the founders of the firm’s China practice group and played a key role in establishing the firm’s Beijing and Taipei offices.
Following the lecture, members of STL’s Law Review Board presented Professor Torbert with a signed copy of the most recent edition of the Law Review, which includes Professor Torbert’s article.