Axiom Ince stops taking new instructions as break-up looms

Modhwadia: Intervention

The end appears nigh for Axiom Ince, with the law firm admitting that it has stopped taking new instructions and will “likely be unable to continue in its current format”.

The firm, which was catapulted into the headlines recently by buying both Ince & Co and Plexus Legal out of administration, is on the verge of breaking up, with Legal Futures told that individual departments have been given permission to seek new homes.

Earlier this month, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) intervened into the practice of Pragnesh Modhwadia, Axiom Ince’s global chief executive, on the grounds that there was “reason to suspect dishonesty” on his part as well as breaches of other rules.

A statement from the firm at the time said the allegations included Mr Modhwadia misappropriating “very significant sums of money”.

His practising certificate was automatically suspended as a result of the intervention. Companies House lists him as the only person with significant control of Axiom Ince.

The SRA also intervened into the practices of two of the other 15 directors of the firm, Shyam Mistry – head of personal injury and medical negligence – and head of property Idnan Liaqat over possible rule breaches.

In a new statement, an Axiom spokesman said: “The firm continues to have ongoing communication and cooperation with the SRA, who confirm that we can continue to operate in the normal course of business.

“We will continue to meet our regulatory and moral duty to act in our client’s best interests. Therefore, moving forward we will not accept any new instructions.

“Whilst we will continue to trade as normal in the immediate period, the firm will likely be unable to continue in its current format. This may mean that parts of the firm and teams within the firm may be transferred to different practices to provide continuity of service to clients.”

The spokesman stressed that the firm was “working closely” with the SRA and “will continue to do everything we can to protect the firm, our clients and our colleagues”.

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