Seelig sues for pounds 30,000

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ROGER SEELIG, the former corporate financier and a defendant in the Guinness trial, will return to court this week in an attempt to claim almost pounds 30,000 that he says he is owed.

Mr Seelig, who was forced to resign from the merchant bank Morgan Grenfell by the Bank of England, is suing the Management Centre, a computer company, for pounds 28,750. He claims he is owed for corporate finance advice. The case is due to start on Tuesday.

Mr Seelig sent a bill to the company, then called Touchstone Group, in February last year - two days before Touchstone succumbed to a pounds 7.9m hostile takeover bid from Stratagem, the investment group.

The directors of Stratagem refused to pay the bill, and earlier this year Mr Seelig sued.

The invoice sent by Mr Seelig's private company, RHK Seelig, claimed pounds 28,750 including VAT 'for general strategic and corporate advice from October 1989 to date, including advice in relation to the appointment of banking and broking advisers together with the introduction of non-executive directors'.

During the same period, Morgan Grenfell became Touchstone's merchant banking advisers and Credit Lyonnais-Laing was appointed as the group's broker. In addition, David Ewart, the former finance director of Morgan Grenfell, became a non-executive director in March 1990 and chairman of Touchstone in December that year.

When contacted about the matter last year, Mr Seelig declined to comment on his role in the appointment of the non-executive directors, but said he had recommended Morgan Grenfell to the group.

A spokesman for Morgan Grenfell said: 'We do not have a relationship with Mr Seelig.'

All charges against Mr Seelig in the Guinness trial were dropped in February this year, after Mr Justice Henry said the strain on Mr Seelig had reached a point where 'it is no longer possible for him to conduct his defence adequately'.

Mr Seelig had been defending himself with aid from a friend, George Devlin. He has had pounds 400,000 of his legal costs paid from the public purse.

The judge's ruling followed two psychiatric reports - one from a doctor working for Mr Seelig and another from one working for the Serious Fraud Office. They found he was unable to control his emotions, lacked mental clarity and judgement and had suffered slight brain damage from a stroke.

(Photograph omitted)