A report by the Legal Services Board into last year’s demise of national firm Axiom Ince is still not ready for publication, the super-regulator revealed today. The LSB investigation into the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s actions around the collapse was originally due for publication in spring and then delayed until after the general election.

The LSB last year engaged Northern Ireland firm Carson McDowell to investigate the regulator’s actions; the inquiry’s scope was later broadened to cover the failure of Sheffield firm SSB Law. 

A brief notice on the LSB’s website today reads:  

'As previously announced, the Legal Services Board (LSB) is conducting an independent review of regulatory events leading up to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) intervention into Axiom Ince.

'We have received the independent report from Carson McDowell LLP. The LSB is now considering next steps, in the light of the findings and recommendations. The report will be published as soon as due process has been completed.'

A spokesperson was unable to clarify what ‘due process’ will involve.


Timeline of a disaster

12 April 2023: Listed international firm Ince Group reveals it is set to enter administration.


28 April 2023: Axiom DWFM buys business and some assets of the Ince Group in administration.


23 August 2023: Axiom Ince reveals it may be ‘unable to continue in its current format’.


12 September 2023: Former Axiom Ince managing partner Pragnesh Modhwadia reveals that £64m withdrawn from client account has disappeared.


3 October 2023: SRA reveals that it has intervened into the practice of Axiom Ince.


18 October 2023: SRA reveals solicitors may be required to make a one-off payment to plug an expected hole in the Compensation Fund.


27 October 2023: Compliance expert Frank Maher calls for an inquiry into the SRA’s actions before the collapse.


14 November 2023: Serious Fraud Office makes seven arrests in connection with the collapsed firm.


20 November 2023: SRA reveals it waited almost three months to send investigators into Axiom Ince following eye-catching acquisitions.


6 December 2023: LSB says it is considering an independent review of the cause of the collapse. 


20 December 2023: LSB says its report into events leading up to the collapse will be published in spring following investigation by Northern Ireland firm Carson McDowell.


24 January 2024: LSB confirms the scope of its inquiry.


1 March 2024: SRA says it has allocated an initial £60,000 to investigating the SRA’s actions over the collapse of the national firm Axiom Ince.


21 May 2024: Bankruptcy order made against Pragnesh Modhwadia.


30 May 2024: LSB says report will not be published until after general election in accordance with guidance to public bodies. 


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