September 27, 2019 / 12:20 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Court to look into Orcel's 100 mln euro Santander claim in April

(Adds details)

By Jesús Aguado

MADRID, Sept 27 (Reuters) - A Madrid court will begin preliminary proceedings in April next year for a lawsuit brought by Italian banker Andrea Orcel against Santander over the bank's withdrawal of an offer to make him CEO, a Madrid court spokesman said on Friday.

Orcel, one of Europe's most high-profile bankers, is suing the Spanish bank for 100 million euros ($111 million), claiming breach of contract.

He was offered the CEO job at Santander last year but the bank changed its mind in January, saying it could not meet his pay demands.

"The preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 13, where technicalities such as what procedural evidence or potential witnesses can be accepted will be decided as part of the case," the spokesman said.

The hearing is part of a lengthy legal process that could take several more months before a full trial starts later, the spokesman said.

The court spokesman said it was not immediately clear at this stage if Orcel would appear in court in April or if he would be represented by his lawyer.

Spanish law firm De Carlos Remon, which represents Orcel, was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

Santander declined to comment.

Details of the court hearing were first reported by the Spanish website

Orcel has alleged that a four-page letter written in September last year, in which Santander offered him the job, along with a stock and bonus package to compensate for deferred pay he risked losing by quitting UBS, was legally binding.

Santander has said that the letter to Orcel was not a contract as required by Spanish law. (Reporting By Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Andres González; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Jane Merriman)

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