Following up my previous post (Aconex director under scrutiny), the latest (25 February) FirmSpy post, AAR Victoria’s Secret: Aconex Knickers in a Knot, paints an uncomfortable picture of Aconex‘s management of its relationship with its main legal advisor, Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR). It may all be, as it says, “scurulous rumour and gossip”, but FirmSpy wonders about:
- the significant sums expended with AAR on legal fees since Mr Robinson joined Aconex’s board
- his continued use of an AAR email address
- the apparent reluctance of major Australian business news publications to report on the allegations
- the advice to Aconex of another AAR partner Wendy Rae, apparently now also under investigation
- the 2007-2008 Hawthorn Glen share purchase dispute, and
- the possible financial repercussions if a derivative legal action commenced.
Update (4 March 2011): A further FirmSpy post includes, in the final paragraph, some speculation about information barriers (eg: could Mr Robinson have stored all his Aconex director correspondence on AAR email servers?). That’s kind of an ironic twist, given that Aconex’s core business is all about information management, aiding efficient decision-making and keeping a clear audit trail of all exchanges.