Reviewed by: Stuart Bushell
Author: Steve Giles
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 978-0470979457
Price: £34.99

Steve Giles’ credentials to write this comprehensive and entertaining guide to managing fraud risk are unimpeachable. From involvement in the Polly Peck investigation over 20 years ago to lecturing around the world on the subject today, he has seen most things that financial fraudsters get up to, and knows how it is possible to defeat them.

This book is designed for those for whom fraud prevention is part of their job description and day-to-day existence, which is a small but significant element of the legal profession. Giles makes his guide as practical and conversational as possible, and fills it with anecdotes drawn from the investigations in which he has played a role.

In particular, the ‘Fraud awareness’ quiz questions at the start of each chapter are excellent and produce some surprising answers – for instance his assertion that no more than 10% of employees in any organisation are totally honest. The book also looks not just at the modus operandi of the average corporate fraudster, but also at the psychology relating to why and how they go about their work.

Those looking for tips on how to prevent fraud in their own law firm will find plenty to learn here, although only those in larger bodies will be able to apply those lessons in great detail. Some new COLPs and COFAs might be advised to place a copy of the book on their chief executive’s desk around pay award time – although, as Giles points out, those charged with fraud prevention very rarely receive any direct financial reward for their work.

Stuart Bushell is managing director of SIFA