Bunhill: Serious fraud

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The Independent Online
MORE popular than the Maxwell offerings is likely to be Serious Fraud: Investigation and Trial, by David Kirk and Tony Woodcock, the City solicitors. The book sets out everything a defendant and his lawyers need to know when confronted by the Serious Fraud Office. Kirk, of the Stephenson Harwood law firm, should know. He acted for the accused in the Guinness and Blue Arrow trials and is now working on the Levitt, Nissan UK and Kuwait Investment Office cases.

His advice to anyone facing a lengthy, complex fraud trial? 'They are not in the book, but there should be long sections on medical defences and defending yourself,' he says, obviously having in mind the trials of Roger Seelig and Jack Lyons and the reduction in the sentence to Ernest Saunders. But, he adds, 'If everybody started defending themselves, we'd be out of a job.'

His book costs pounds 90, which, he says, 'is what law books cost these days'. Unless the librarian at Wandsworth has a huge budget, borrowers might have to call on all their old skills to get hold of a copy.