Seelig wins payment case

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ROGER SEELIG, who resigned from Morgan Grenfell, the merchant bank, over the Guinness affair, yesterday won his action to be paid for corporate advice he gave to a small computer company while awaiting trial in the Guinness case.

Ruling in Mr Seelig's favour at Westminster County Court, Mr Justice Martin described the former corporate financier as 'a man of some standing in the City'.

Mr Seelig claimed pounds 25,000 plus VAT and interest from Touchstone Group, a Slough-based company, which he advised between October 1989 and February 1991.

Mr Seelig's trial on charges relating to his involvement in the Guinness takeover of Distillers in 1986 started in September 1991 and was abandoned last February because it was found that Mr Seelig was no longer in a fit state to conduct his defence.

Mr Seelig said his advice included helping secure the services of Morgan Grenfell as Touchstone's merchant bank and of David Ewart, the former finance director of Morgan Grenfell, as a non-executive director of Touchstone.

However, Morgan Grenfell told Touchstone that it did not wish to work alongside Mr Seelig in advising the group on an aggressive takeover bid from Strategem, the investment group.

Mr Justice Martin ruled that Mr Seelig 'gave advice to the company which helped the company avoid making mistakes. It is my opinion that the advice he gave is worth considerably more than pounds 25,000.'

In evidence that lasted most of Tuesday, Mr Seelig said he telephoned Guy Dawson, head of corporate finance at Morgan Grenfell, to use 'his best endeavours and goodwill' to ensure favourable consideration of Touchstone's application to become a client of Morgan Grenfell.

Mr Seelig was not in court to hear the verdict - he said he was obliged to fly to Australia on Wednesday night on a business trip in the company of the chairman of a leading public company.