Axiom Ince to close as regulator ponders intervention

Firm applies for notice to appoint administrators; team departures continue


Axiom Ince has applied to the High Court giving notice of its intention to appoint administrators.

According to reports in the Law Society Gazette and The Lawyer, the firm’s legal adviser, Devonshire Solicitors, applied for the practice to enter administration on the expiry of its professional indemnity cover at the weekend. 

Following the closure of Ince & Co’s website on Friday, parent company Axiom Ince’s website was unavailable today. The firm had previously told regulators that it could not continue “in its current format”.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), meanwhile, has provided an update on its stance towards the stricken practice. 

An SRA spokesperson said: “We have been working very closely with the firm to make sure that it upholds its regulatory obligations while working towards an orderly closure, as per our rules. Now that the firm has closed, we will look at the situation and see if an intervention is necessary to protect the interests of clients.

“If that becomes necessary, we will announce that widely so that clients know that it affects them and we can explain what they need to do.”

The crisis at Axiom Ince was triggered in August when the SRA intervened in the practices of three partners, including managing partner Pragnesh Modhwadia, effectively suspending them from practice

Today’s developments seal the fate of shipping firm Ince & Co, which was bought out of administration by Axiom DWFM in April, and national insurance practice Plexus Legal, which appeared to have been rescued by the rebranded Axiom Ince following its collapse in July.

Meanwhile, departures from the stricken law firm continue with Pennington Manches Cooper confirming today that it had secured a team of Ince shipping lawyers with Paul Crane joining as a partner, William Chetwood as a senior consultant, and Akshay Misra as a managing associate. A former Ince trainee will follow the trio to Penningtons in due course.

City of London Law Society president Colin Passmore confirmed to this title last week that efforts to support current and prospective trainees at Axiom Ince were ongoing.   

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