London Law Firm Scandal
A freezing order amounting to £65 million has been issued against the former managing partner of London law law firm Axiom Ince following the discovery of missing funds from the troubled law firm.
Lawyers representing Axiom Ince took the matter to the High Court to prevent Pragnesh Modhwadia,40, from taking any actions related to his assets within England and Wales.
The High Court concurrently imposed a preservation order, preventing Modhwadia from disposing of or dealing with funds totaling “at least £64,584,904.60,” which had been transferred from Axiom’s client account since May 2021.
Pragnesh Modhwadia, who previously founded the precursor firm Axiom Stone Solicitors, came under scrutiny from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) last month.
The Ince Group was bought out of administration for £2.2 million in June by an entity then known as Axiom DWFM as LawFuel reported, which delisted the company from the stock exchange. Ince owed creditors £41 million.
The intervention by the SRA was initiated due to suspicions of dishonesty and a failure to comply with the rules outlined in the Solicitors Act, according to reports in the UK media.
Both Modhwadia fellow directors, Shyam Mistry and Idnan Liaqat, are presently unable to practice as solicitors until further notice.
Axiom Ince released a statement explaining that Modhwadia’s SRA intervention is connected to the alleged ‘misappropriation of sums of money.’
The firm further stated, ‘We are collaborating closely with the SRA to address this situation and can confirm that Axiom Ince Limited has obtained a freezing injunction against Pragnesh Modhwadia.’
Timur Rustem, a senior solicitor from the London-based law firm Rustem Guardian Solicitors, is representing Modhwadia.
‘Our client is actively cooperating with both the regulator and individual solicitors representing the company. He is the owner and is fully committed to providing information and documentation as and when required. His primary concerns are for his employees, clients, and the company,’ Rustem said.
Modhwadia has not yet initiated a High Court challenge against his SRA intervention.
Modhwadia played a prominent role as the figurehead for Axiom Ince during its acquisition of Ince Group and Plexus Law earlier this year through pre-pack administration deals. As part of the authorization process for both acquisitions, he would have been approved as a manager by the SRA.
Axiom Ince was not facing investigation and that it continued “to trade in the ordinary course of business”.
The SRA has sought the assistance of other London law firms to save the position of the trainees working at Axiom with high hopes that they can find alternative work in the event that their jobs disappear.