MADRID (Reuters) – A Madrid court will start preliminary proceedings on Sept. 14 for a lawsuit brought by Italian banker Andrea Orcel against Santander <SAN.MC> over the bank’s withdrawal of an offer to make him CEO, a court spokesman said on Thursday.
Initially, the hearing was scheduled to take place on April 13 but ordinary judicial activity in Spain was suspended during the coronavirus lockdown.
Orcel, one of Europe’s most famous bankers, is suing the Spanish bank for 112 million euros ($126 million), claiming breach of contract.
He was offered the CEO job at Santander in September 2018 but the bank changed its mind the following January, saying it could not meet his pay demands.
“The preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 14 at 11.00 am, when technicalities such as what procedural evidence or which potential witnesses can be accepted will be decided as part of the case,” the court spokesman said.
The case has raised interest in the financial community as hirings and firings of CEOs are generally done behind close doors with potential conflicts resolved privately.
Santander declined to comment. Alvaro Remon, Orcel’s lawyer, was not immediately available for comment.
The hearing is part of a lengthy legal process that could take several more months before full trial, the court spokesman added.
(Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Editing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Cawthorne)