Begbies Traynor Group has launched a specialist forensic service in the Midlands headed by Martin Long, a former RSM Robson Rhodes and Grant Thornton partner in Birmingham.

Begbies Traynor regional managing partner John Kelly said it was a logical step for the firm to take.

He said: “We frequently find ourselves asked to provide expert witness and litigation specialist support to our clients and intermediary contacts.

“Coupled with the growth in regulatory compliance, the increase in fraud activity and the fact that forensic accounting skills are very much integral to our recovery teams, it was inevitable that we would bring forensic accounting within our service offering in the Midlands.

““We are delighted to have Martin on board as a partner launching this vital new service for us.

“I am sure he will be a great asset to the team and his arrival makes available further expertise to our client base.”

BTG Forensic also has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Plymouth.

Apart from a three-year spell in Italy, Mr Long, a Birmingham University graduate, has spent all his 25-year career working in the accounting profession in the city.

For a number of years Mr Long has participated in the training of individuals from developing countries, particularly India and Africa, in fraud prevention and investigation.

Participants on these courses typically include corporate accountants, bank officials, lawyers and judges, civil servants and even government ministers.

He said: “Invariably, only a handful of the course attendees will have heard of the term ‘forensic accountant’; this was the situation in the UK 20 years ago.

“I usually have one day to provide them with an understanding of how the forensic accountant can help them in their respective corporate or public administration roles.”