The Solicitors Regulation Authority has acted to immediately close a Yorkshire firm after finding reason to suspect dishonesty.
The regulator intervened in Legal Development Partners Limited in Harrogate yesterday to protect clients’ interests and money.
An intervening agent, Marion Vasey of Nottinghamshire firm Shacklocks, has been appointed to handle client files.
In a statement on its website, the SRA said it was satisfied that grounds for intervention existed ‘because there is reason to suspect dishonest on the part of a manager or employee… namely Lucy-Ann Kirkham, Mohammed Khalid Sharjahan and Matthew Cobley’.
The SRA also cited accounts rules and the code of conduct as grounds for intervention.
According to the SRA, the firm also traded as LDP, Ashworth Law, Towers Legal, Fortius Legal, Beck Solicitors and Go Legal.
However Beck Solicitors of Pottery Lane, Harrogate, stressed that it is not subject to the intervention. Angela Beck, managing director, said: 'Beck Solicitors is not part of the Legal Development Partners Limited Group and has traded as a completely separate practice since April 2013. We are not now, and have never been, part of any investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
'Beck Solicitors is an independent practice, specialising in family law, based in Harrogate. Our reputation for serving our clients in an open, honest and professional way, is precious to us and we want to assure our loyal customers that we are not linked to the SRA investigation in any way.'
According to his LinkedIn profile, Sharjahan has been executive director and head of conveyancing and residential property for Ashworth Law since April this year.
Kirkham is listed on LinkedIn as having joined Ashworth Law in March 2009 and led the litigation team in respect of financial mis-selling claims, personal injury and debt recovery.