The former boss of failed Bolton law firm Asons has been disqualified as a director for seven years because of serial overcharging by the one-time personal injury practice, it has emerged.
Kamran Akram, 42, has separately given a five-year bankruptcy restriction undertaking (BRU) over the transfer of an expensive car to a family member.
The developments follow last week’s news that he has given an undertaking not to return to legal practice without the permission of a High Court judge after facing contempt proceedings.
Mr Akram was Asons’ sole director and its COLP and COFA. The Insolvency Service recorded that his director ban began on 21 February.
On the conduct for which he was sanctioned, it said: “Between late 2013 and early 2015 Kamran Akram failed to exert adequate control over the financial affairs of Asons Solicitors Limited with the consequence that Asons issued 159 bills of costs where the amount claimed was either misrepresented or inflated, resulting in Asons insurers having to pay £838,854.”
We reported in 2017 that Asons repaid more than £100,000 to insurer AXA after admitting to falsely and systematically inflating its legal costs.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in 2018 that led to Mr Akram being suspended for 18 months revealed a similar deal with Zurich, which saw the firm reimburse £350,000 in overpaid costs as part of a £525,000 settlement.
It also recorded a £200,000 settlement in a case brought on behalf of various insurers involving allegations of Asons making fraudulent claims for physiotherapy in 32 cases.
At the same time, the tribunal found that Mr Akram did not know about the overcharging at the time and concluded that he had not been dishonest.
The unusual undertaking not to return to practice followed a test case brought by Esure over inflated special damages claims. The insurer’s solicitors, Horwich Farrelly, said it had achieved what the Solicitors Regulation Authority had not in effectively having him struck off.
Mr Akram was also ordered to pay costs of £200,00, which was paid by his family as he is bankrupt. He was made bankrupt in March 2019 but was set to be automatically discharged later this month.
However, on 26 February, he entered into a five-year BRU. According to the Insolvency Service: “In May 2018, whilst insolvent, Kamran Akram transferred a motor vehicle which he stated was valued at £32,000 to a family member as part repayment of an alleged, undocumented personal loan to the detriment of his other creditors.”