10 NOVEMBER 1990, Page 27

Open to all

GUINNESS bid for Distillers five years ago, and the second of the Guinness trials will, next year, finally reach the courts. This week brought a pre-trial hearing, at which the two merchant bankers accused, Lord Spens and Roger Seelig, had to do without lawyers. The Guinness row has cost both men their jobs and their salaries, and Mr Seelig has been facing legal bills which, by the end of the trial, would have run to well over a million pounds. He has had to contend with a long-drawn-out case full of technicalities, and with a multiplicity of charges, two thirds of which have now been dropped. He is not accused of acting for personal gain, and the case concerns his work as a corporate finance director of Morgan Grenfell. Morgan, until now, has shown every sign of wanting to distance itself from the case and from its former star. The third defendant, David Mayhew, is a partner in Cazenoves, which with a fortitude greatly admired in the City is standing by its man. Mr Mayhew will have the advice and representation he needs. In the Blue Arrow case, which comes next, National Westminster is contributing to the defence of the former employees of Coun- ty NatWest. Mr Seelig is left to reflect that justice, like the advice of merchant banks, is open to all who can afford it.