Axiom Ince set to close as departures intensify

Partner exits continue apace from troubled firm as SRA says it has told regulator it cannot continue “in its current format”
April 13 2019: Image taken of Aldgate Tower at 2 Leman Street, London E1 8FA. Aldgate station was not busy as this was taken on a weekday late afternoon.

Aldgate Tower Mrtravelbunny; Shutterstock

Partner exits have continued from Axiom Ince, amid reports the beleaguered law firm is winding down. 

National law firm Irwin Mitchell said today it had hired a seven-strong team of regulatory lawyers led by partners Philip Somarakis and Colette Kelly from Ince & Co, which was bought out of administration by Axiom DWFM in April.

The firm, which subsequently changed its name to Axiom Ince, also bought national insurance practice Plexus Law out of administration in July. However shortly after the SRA intervened in the practices of three Axiom solicitors, including founder and managing partner Pragnesh Modhwadia, on the grounds of suspected dishonesty. 

Axiom Ince subsequently secured a freezing order against Modhwadia, who according to a report in The Times admitted in a High Court hearing that around £64m had been taken from Axiom’s client account to fund the purchase of Ince & Co and Plexus Law along with a number of properties. 

GLP understands the SRA expects Axiom Ince to be broken up. A spokesperson for the regulator commented: “Our priority is making sure the public and clients of the remaining firm are protected. We are in regular contact with the directors of Axiom to make sure it can meet its regulatory duties, including working in the best interests of its clients. 

“Although Axiom continues to trade, they have said it ‘will likely be unable to continue in its current format’. We are closely monitoring the position.”

The team moving over to Irwin Mitchell continues a steady stream of departures from Ince and Plexus in recent months, including former Ince managing partner Jennette Newman, who has joined Horwich Farrelly as head of London markets. 

Meantime Ince’s former head of corporate, James Channo, has joined RPC, which has also welcomed former Plexus general liability partner Thom Lumley. Ince’s former head of travel Anna Anatolitou took a team to DAC Beachcroft earlier this month, while in July Kennedys welcomed a nine-strong product liability team from Plexus led by partner Mark Dyson. 

Other firms to hire partners from Ince and Plexus recently include Child & Child, DWF and RWK Goodman, while earlier this week UK regional firm Greenwoods Legal said it had hired a nine-strong team from Ince led by Ince’s former head of private client and tax Matthew Biles. 

The fate of hundreds of business support staff at Axiom, Ince and Plexus is at present unknown. Axiom Ince was approached for comment.

Email your news and story ideas to: