The Solicitors Regulation Authority has made a payment of £3m to help clients whose conveyancing transactions have been left in limbo by the closure of Cheshire firm Wolstenholmes.

The money has come from the Compensation Fund, which is administered by the SRA and funded by the profession. The SRA was unable to comment on whether or how the money might be clawed back.

In addition, the Law Society has teamed up with the Manchester Law Society to set up a scheme to assist conveyancing clients whose property transactions have been affected by the SRA intervention into the firm in December.

They have assembled a pool of Manchester-based firms who will be available to take on the work and complete transactions to reduce further delays.

The SRA stepped in and suspended the practising certificates of five solicitors at the firm following allegations of dishonesty involving hundreds of thousands of pounds of clients’ money and breaches of accountancy rules. The managing partner denied any wrongdoing and it is understood that at least one of the solicitors involved is contesting the intervention. The SRA has appointed Manchester firm DWF as its agent to take custody of clients’ funds and files, and advise them of their options following the intervention.

An SRA spokesman said: ‘We are acutely aware of the inconvenience that has inevitably been caused to clients by closing this firm down. Our focus is on sorting out the files taken from Wolstenholmes and, as speedily as possible, enabling clients to instruct new solicitors. Our agent, DWF in Manchester, has 38 people dealing with phone calls, and finding and releasing files.