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Former SFO chief calls for cut in regulators

John Wood, former head of the Serious Fraud Office and now a consultant with the City law firm Denton Hall, called for steps to be taken to cut the number of regulators and prosecutors in Britain. "I would prefer an organisation such as a bank to be regulated by only one authority," he told a seminar last week on banking fraud organised by Denton Hall, the accountants Touche Ross and the investigators Kroll Associates.

Middle East post

Giles Dixon, of the leading law firm Nabarro Nathanson, has become the first solicitor to be appointed chairman of the Middle East Association. The association is a trade body which promotes business between the UK, the Middle East and North Africa. The appointment of the 35th chairman comes at a time when trade between the UK and the Middle East has declined, to pounds 9.1bn last year from 1993's all-time high of pounds 10.7bn.

Police advisers

The Association of Police Lawyers was officially launched last month as a network aimed at practitioners who advise police forces and authorities. Chris Porteous, solicitor for the Metropolitan Police, was named president of the 40-strong group.

Esop seminar

Top lawyers and accountants will be debating their different treatments of an Accounting Standards Board rule on accounting for employee share ownership plans (Esops) at a seminar later this month. The debate, which will take place at the Howard Hotel in London on 22 November, is being organised by the Esop Centre.