• Friday, December 08, 2023

News

Met Police probe law firm amid fraud allegations

Axiom Ince’s managing director Pragnesh Modhwadia and two other senior lawyers have been suspended

Pragnesh Modhwadia – Image Credit: LinkedIn

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

MET POLICE officers have opened an investigation into a law firm after allegations that its former boss misappropriated client money.

The probe follows a referral from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which noticed a £64 million hole in the client account of Axiom Ince.

Axiom’s managing director Pragnesh Modhwadia has been suspended on the suspicion of “dishonesty”.

The regulator also suspended the firm’s two other partners – Shyam Mistry and Idnan Liaqat – who had allegedly failed to comply with statutory rules on keeping solicitors’ accounts.

“We are aware of a report made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority,” Scotland Yard said in a statement, adding that detectives from its Specialist Crime Command “have launched an investigation and enquiries are ongoing.”

No accusation has been proved and Mistry has moved the High Court, challenging his suspension.

While the SRA said Axiom “continues to trade in the ordinary course of business”, the law firm witnessed an exodus of dozens of lawyers.

The Law Society Gazette said seven regulatory specialist lawyers had left Axiom to move to the national consumer law firm Irwin Mitchell.

An SRA spokesperson told the publication that the regulator was “in regular contact” with Axiom’s directors “to make sure it can meet its regulatory duties, including working in the best interests of its clients”.

Axiom could not be reached for comment.

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