The Solicitors Regulation Authority has obtained a freezing injunction against a Bradford law firm that was shut down following a scandal in which the Legal Aid Agency was defrauded of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The injunction, granted at the High Court, freezes all money held by, on behalf of, or to the order of Mohammed Ayub or Chambers Solicitors, the practice Ayub owned.
According to the SRA, it includes, but is not limited to, any sums of money paid by third parties in respect of legal services carried out by Ayub or Chambers. The SRA said it had concerns that money due to Chambers is being diverted to other law firms who may not be entitled to it.
Earlier this month, the SRA announced that it had closed down the practice through an intervention.
The SRA has instructed any law firm that was dealing with Chambers and which is now asked to send money to a new firm to check with its intervention agent, John Owen of Gordons LLP.
Ayub, 55, his brother Mohammed Riaz, 48, and immigration supervisor Neil Frew, 48, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud on a 10-2 majority verdict last month.
Prosecutors said the defendants formed a sham company called Legal Support Services, run by Riaz, to claim inflated disbursements from the LAA for immigration and asylum contract work awarded to Chambers from September 2010 to October 2014.
They will be sentenced in the new year.
(Note: Chambers Solicitors of Bradford is entirely unconnected with Chambers Solicitors of Slough, Berkshire.)