A criminal investigation has been launched into Axiom Ince, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced today (14 November). Seven individuals have been arrested in connection with the investigation and searches have been carried out across nine sites.
More than 80 SFO investigators, alongside Metropolitan Police officers, went to locations across the southeast of England early this morning to search for potential evidence and bring in individuals for questioning. Continue reading “SFO opens criminal investigation into Axiom Ince”
Axiom Ince has filed documents with the High Court to appoint Neil Bennett, Alex Cadwallader and Andrew Poxon of Leonard Curtis as joint administrators. They will be responsible for closing the firm’s business, realising its assets, and reporting to its creditors.
The joint administrators will operate separately from intervening agents Gordons, Shakespeare Martineau and Stephensons, who will continue to deal with the client affairs of Axiom Ince. Continue reading “Axiom Ince appoints administrators as Law Society questions compensation fund levy”
Drawing a long-running saga to its inevitable conclusion, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced on 3 October that it had closed down Axiom Ince with immediate effect following its intervention to protect the interest of clients and former clients of the firm.
Regarding the intervention, the SRA said: ‘We will stop the firm from operating, take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm, and take possession of all money held by the firm (including clients’ money). We are not responsible towards employees or trade creditors of firms that we have intervened in.’ Continue reading “‘A salutary lesson’: Axiom Ince closed by SRA following months of turmoil”
Drawing a long-running saga to its inevitable conclusion, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (3 October) announced that it has closed down Axiom Ince with immediate effect following its intervention to protect the interest of clients and former clients of the firm.
This intervention by the SRA prevents Axiom Ince from operating, while it takes ownership of all documents held by the firm and all money, including client money, held by the firm. It has appointed intervening agents to deal with all live matters held by Axiom Ince across its network and to deal with the closure of its offices. Continue reading “SRA closes Axiom Ince with immediate effect following intervention”
Ince has launched a formal internal investigation after a viral tweet from a Cardiff restaurant owner claimed a group of its lawyers had behaved inappropriately towards a waitress.
In the social media post, which as of today (9 May) has been ‘liked’ close to 132,000 times, Cora owner Lee Skeet alleged in an email that the group had ‘talked down to, disrespected, and touched unwantedly’ a 22-year-old waitress named Lily.
Continue reading “Ince in firing line over ‘inappropriate’ restaurant behaviour allegations”
A former Mishcon de Reya partner has accepted a £17,500 penalty for his conduct which contributed to the record £232,500 SRA settlement agreed with the firm in January.
In an agreement published yesterday (7 March), Michael Nouril admitted to serious breaches of money laundering regulations relating to work for two individual clients, and corporate vehicles connected with the same two individual clients. In addition to the settlement, he will also pay £3,500 in costs. Continue reading “Ex-Mishcon partner hit with £17,500 SRA fine over conduct breach”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has closed its investigation into the conduct of former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Caroline Stroud in her handling of an internal inquiry into a rape allegation at UBS.
The move will be a welcome development for Freshfields after an investigation was launched back in August 2020 into whether Stroud misled the alleged victim, referred to as ‘Ms A’, during an internal review of the investment bank’s response to the rape allegation by not making it clear that she had been drafted in by UBS. Continue reading “SRA draws line under probe into ex-Freshfields partner handling of UBS alleged rape case”
In an unflattering revelation ahead of its planned IPO, Mishcon de Reya yesterday (5 January) received the highest-ever financial penalty issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) of £232,500 for a string of failures related to money laundering rules.
The firm, which has also been issued with a £50,000 costs order, admitted to failing to provide adequate due diligence on four client matters. It also accepted it had misplaced the hard copy evidence of the due diligence it carried out on those matters. Continue reading “Mishcon hit with record £232,500 SRA penalty over money laundering mishaps”
Just when Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer probably thought its #MeToo woes were behind it, a fresh spotlight has been shone on a prominent partner over allegations of misconduct in handling an alleged rape case involving UBS and a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigation underway.
The matter came to light on Thursday (13 August) when the The Financial Times reported that influential Freshfields employment partner Caroline Stroud was being investigated by the watchdog for her conduct in dealing with a review of the investment bank’s handling of a rape allegation. Continue reading “Freshfields refutes partner misconduct in handling alleged rape case as SRA confirms probe “
The ongoing #MeToo saga within in the legal profession was only a few chapters old last year when our annual risk and professional indemnity report with broker Marsh went to press. Fast forward a year and law firm risk managers and general counsel (GCs) are faced with a harsher environment to navigate on many fronts. Not least is the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s tougher stance on sexual misconduct allegations and calls for firms to have better procedures in place for handling internal complaints, as laid out in the regulator’s new Standards and Regulations (StaRs) rulebook last September.
As Stephen Morton, senior vice-president for professional risks at Marsh, observes: ‘It is striking how human the risks are now, compared to ten years ago after the financial crash when [they] were very much measured against loss strategies. There has been a shift to realising that the legal profession is fundamentally built on people.’ Continue reading “Risk management survey 2020 – Crooked timber”