North-west personal injury firm Antony Hodari has announced the acquisition of Preston firm Ashton Fox in a pre-pack deal. Ashton Fox went in to administration last month.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, includes all work in progress, totaling around 8,000 cases, predominantly on mortgage mis-selling and right to buy. All 24 Ashton Fox staff have been retained to ensure a smooth transition.

Antony Hodari, which trades as AVH Legal, stepped into talks last Tuesday after previous attempts to sell Ashton Fox collapsed, and the deal was completed three days later.

Mark Grover (pictured), chief executive of Antony Hodari, indicated that the firm would look to make further acquisitions in the coming months.

‘We saw the writing on the wall for claimant personal injury firms five years ago and instigated a major modernisation programme so we could be assured of a strong future,’ said Grover.

‘Ashton Fox has a very healthy work in progress in the areas of mis-sold and right-to-buy mortgages, so this represents a sensible diversification for the Antony Hodari business as we gear up for the post-LASPO world.’

James Sheridan, head of corporate at Turner Parkinson, advised Antony Hodari. Leonard Curtis (administrators) and Gateley (legal) represented the interests of Ashton Fox.

The issue of pre-packs has been in focus since the DWF acquisition of Cobbetts last month, saving hundreds of jobs but leaving creditors with little return on their investment.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority said earlier this month it was ‘highly aware’ of the perception that members were protected at the expense of creditors and it would review its policy for the process.