Law briefs

Fraud education

Juries in fraud trials should be better educated, according to John Wood, former head of the Serious Fraud Office. Mr Wood, who is now a consultant with City law firm Denton Hall, told a conference earlier this month that jurors in fraud trials should have "at least an O-level in English and maths and preferably an A-level in one or other of those subjects."

Shortage of experts

Half of all solicitors who instruct expert witnesses have difficulty locating the right person, according to a survey to mark the launch of the Law Society's Directory of Expert Witnesses. A main reason for the problem was that they often needed an expert in a narrow or obscure specialisation, while difficulties were also caused by the people they wanted being too busy.

Taking sides on VAT

Barrister Andrew Young is swapping sides after representing the Commissioners of Customs & Excise in more than 200 VAT and Duties Tribunal hearings. At chartered accountants Touche Ross, he will be using this experience to act for clients appealing against indirect tax assessments and interest penalties.

Cordery update

Cordery on Solicitors, the leading authority on the law relating to solicitors, has been completely restructured and rewritten by a new team of authors to provide an up-to-date and detailed guide to the law. The guide, published by Butterworths, will be in a loose-leaf format, making it possible to keep it current through adding three service issues a year.

Sweet CD

Publisher Sweet & Maxwell has launched a legal information database on CD-Rom. Launched earlier this month, it is designed to provide professionals with a single source of accurate, relevant and timely legal reference materials.

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