PracticeAccounting FirmsSerious Fraud Office in fierce invoice battle

Serious Fraud Office in fierce invoice battle

Security company Vogon will appeal the loss of a case against the Serious Fraud Office, which refused to pay when it received a bill running to more than 10 times it was expecting.

The SFO had asked Vogon to recover data from two Microsoft servers to help in an investigation of suspected fraud. The SFO has a forensic computer unit with the skills to undertake the job, but it was fully committed on other cases.

The office thought the work would cost around £25,000, based on experiences of similar kinds of forensic recovery. Instead it received an invoice for £314,375 (ex VAT), which it refused to pay.

Vogon began proceedings, but the court found against Vogon, and in a written judgement, Judge Richard Seymour QC noted that ‘the rendering of that invoice was, in my judgement, simply an opportunistic attempt to exploit the perceived commercial na’vete of the SFO’. He also refused Vogon leave to appeal.

But Gordon Stevenson, managing director of Vogon International, said: ‘We’ll be taking this further and appealing. We believe the court exceeded its remit. We’ve worked for the SFO for many years and have worked with most other government agencies with no problems.’

A spokesman for the SFO said: ‘We were confident from the outset that our interpretation of the contract was correct. The claim (by Vogon) was too much – by a long way. It’s disappointing that the matter went to court but in the end it was a satisfactory outcome for the SFO.’

Related Articles

Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

Accounting Firms Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

2d Karen Baxter, Lewis Silkin
Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

Accounting Firms Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

Accounting Firms British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

Accounting Firms Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

1m Lewis Silkin
RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Accounting Firms RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
RSM announces 11 partner promotions

Accounting Firms RSM announces 11 partner promotions

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

Accounting Firms BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

Accounting Firms What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

2m Fergus Payne, Lewis Silkin