The new company that has taken over Bolton-based PI firm Asons Solicitors is an alternative business structure called Banks Solicitors.
Banks, which trades under the name Coops Law, is owned by Irfan Akram. Asons Solicitors was previously owned by Imran and Kamran Akram.
Irfan Akram is also listed as a director of another company, Ason Estates, as are Imram Akram and Haroon Akram. Asons Estates owns the building formerly occupied by Asons Solicitors, in the Churchgate area of the city.
On its website, the new firm appears to specialise in personal injury as did its predecessor Asons.
The home page, which still lists Asons’ former address as its office, asks visitors to fill in a form with details of their accident. However according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Banks Solicitors also specialises in wills and probate.
In a statement on Friday the firm said: ‘As of today, Asons Solicitors has ceased trading. All employees have been TUPE’d to Coops Law and there will be no job losses. We can confirm that Dr Imran Akram [former chief executive] has left the business.
An Asons spokesperson said: ‘This is a fresh start for everyone – the employees and the people of Bolton.’
Asons became the subject of controversy last year when it was awarded a £300,000 grant under Bolton Council’s emergency powers procedure. This procedure allows the authority to take ‘any action on behalf of the council in any cases of urgency’.
The firm’s accounts show a dispute with the tax authorities also quantified at £300,000 and a loss of more than £1m for the year to May 2015. There is no evidence linking the £300,000 dispute referred to in the accounts with the same sum handed to Asons for the building development work.
An independent audit by accountancy KPMG into the grant is expected.
A spokesperson for the firm said the new employers will honour the terms and conditions of the grant awarded by the council.