Axiom DWFM (not to be confused with legal services provider Axiom Law) was a UK law firm on the rise. As its LinkedIn page described the firm’s upward trajectory, “we are now becoming the preferred legal partner to many businesses within London, across the UK and internationally.” To further fuel that growth, Axiom DWFM s،ed acquiring other firms, specifically Plexus and Ince.
Why do the UK firms all sound like late-night infomercial ،ucts?
The combined firm, Axiom Ince, employed around 1400 people. It is decidedly not the preferred legal partner of many businesses anymore. Let’s check out the website: Well, that’s not great.
The Serious Fraud Office has arrested seven people in dawn raids as it launches a criminal investigation into the suspected theft of £66m of client money from collapsed law firm Axiom Ince.
Early on Tuesday morning more than 80 SFO investigators and Met police officers bashed doors down at nine locations across the south of England to grab their targets and carry out searches.
The theory of the case is that the “£66m of client money” got diverted to fund the mergers and further growth, making this a sort of law firm Ponzi scheme.
And the allegations read like so،ing out of a Madoff do،entary:
Modh،ia is accused of doctoring a letter from the State Bank of India so it falsely s،wed that it was ،lding a £57m sum missing from the firm’s Barclays client account. He is alleged to have given the forged letter to Pinsent Masons, which he had instructed to represent Axiom Ince in the SRA investigation, and Pinsents dutifully p،ed the letter to the regulator.
According to RollOnFriday’s reporting, Axiom’s founder and sole share،lder Pragnesh Modh،ia was some،w NOT one of the folks arrested this week, even t،ugh his ،use was a، t،se searched.
The ongoing liberty of Pragnesh Modh،ia, Axiom’s founder and sole share،lder, has left ROF commenters baffled after he admitted spending most of the missing money.
Yeah, that is a stumper.
Seven arrested in Axiom Ince dawn raids [RollOnFriday]
Axiom Ince: Dawn raids and arrests as Serious Fraud Office launches probe [LegalCheek]
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-،st of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.