What a Mess – How could all this have been Allowed to Happen?

I am sitting in the boardroom of our new offices in Covent Garden, London. It is March 1991. I am about to present the monthly update report on the progress of the Polly Peck case to Christopher Morris, Fergus Falk and the various other partners and lawyers who together comprise the senior members of the Touche Ross investigation team. It is almost six months since Christopher was first appointed as joint administrator of Polly Peck, charged specifically with investigating the circumstances of the collapse of the company and the activities of its then Chairman and Chief Executive, Asil Nadir. Much has happened since then.

The investigation team has been working hard and the partners are not yet aware of all of the results. I know that what I have to say in this meeting will have a big impact. There are three parts to my report.

I begin by giving an update on the new offices, reminding everyone about the background. We moved in earlier in the month on the advice of our security consultants. These men work for a specialist firm and come highly recommended by the police. They are mainly from an army background in military security and defence intelligence and, having left the army, they are now the acknowledged experts in the UK in all aspects of corporate security and counter-surveillance. Their first piece of advice is to tell us that we need our own premises, separate from Touche Ross's existing buildings. Their reasoning ...

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