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Enron Corporation's general counsel James Derrick Jr is to retire from the company at the beginning of March
Derrick, who joined the energy trader in 1991 and became executive vice-president in 1999, will be succeeded by current deputy general counsel Robert Walls Jr. His departure means that he will not see the disgraced company through the restructuring process prompted by Chapter 11 proceedings. In a statement Derrick said: "I am profoundly grateful to have been afforded the privilege of serving for many years as a member of a legal team comprised of truly outstanding women and men for whom I have the deepest respect and the greatest admiration." To ensure a smooth transition, Walls will assume the role of acting general counsel immediately. Derrick hit the headlines over the infamous document-shredding incident, when it emerged that he reportedly ordered employees to keep documents instead of destroying them. His final months as Enron general counsel have been marred by the collapse and subsequent investigation of the company's accounting activities. Derrick's plans post-Enron have not yet been disclosed. A return to his former firm Vinson & Elkins may not be an option because, as Enron's main legal adviser, it too has been dogged by scandal.