The former chief executive of high-profile Bolton firm Asons Solicitors was suspended from practice for 18 months today. However the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal cleared Kamran Akram, admitted in 2005, of dishonesty charges.
Asons was closed following an intervention from the Solicitors Regulation Authority last year. The firm was previously granted £300,000 from Bolton Council to boost local employment opportunities.
Akram faced six charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
One allegation was proved in full – that between late 2013 and early 2015 Akram caused or permitted the firm to act in circumstances giving rise to a conflict of interest between the firm and its clients, specifically in relation to the resolution of personal injury claims where the firm’s applications for costs and/or special damages were the subject of challenge by the defendant insurers (and/or their representatives).
Akram was cleared of dishonesty in all charges where it was alleged.
Alison Banks, chair of the tribunal panel, said: ‘It is clear through hard work and commitment you built up a firm you were proud of.’ However, Akram ‘jeopardised all of this by failing to run your practice effectively’. Akram had ‘not supervised the supervisors’, which Banks said was a ‘serious failure’.
The tribunal ordered Akram to be suspended from practice for 18 months from 22 May. Costs were agreed in the sum of £115,000.