P&D takes legal action over book

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The Independent Online
UBS PHILLIPS & Drew, the investment bank, has taken an injunction out against its suspended head of research, Terry Smith, and the publishers Random Century to stop publication of Mr Smith's controversial book, Accounting For Growth.

However Random Century is to defy the injunction and hopes to bring out a paperback version of the book next week.

It is also ploughing ahead with plans to serialise the book in the Sunday press. Both the Sunday Times and the Mail On Sunday are understood to have offered pounds 4,000 for the serialisation rights for the book, and Random Century is currently weighing up the competing offers.

Mr Smith was suspended on Wednesday when he refused P&D's demand that he withdraw the book, which is based on a P&D circular published last year. P&D's injunction is based on claims that Random Century would be infringing its copyright in publishing the book and that Mr Smith would be in breach of his contract of employment.

Liz Sich, Random Century's head of marketing, said the publisher would resist the injunction and would bring out, as soon as possible, paperback and hardback versions. Its original publication date was 15 September.

The book highlights a number of accounting tricks used to inflate companies' pre-tax profits and earnings per share.

However, pre-publication publicity in the Mail on Sunday and Accountancy Age highlighted attacks on the accounts of Grand Metropolitan, which then complained to Union Bank of Switzerland, P&D's parent, about the book.

One accountant who had seen a draft copy said the book totally missed the point about accounts.