Solicitors’ firm chief exec loves his car so much that he wants to share it. But surely the Law Society should know better?
Lawyers hate being called fat cats. And to be fair, many of them — especially those struggling to make ends meet on rapidly evaporating legal aid rates — are not.
So those high street and public law solicitors — and even the City mob, who are coining it but would rather do so discreetly — must be hugely grateful to their professional body and individual show-offs for providing fodder to the fat cat charge.
First up is Dr Imran Akram, who is actually neither a medic nor a lawyer. He is, however, the flamboyant chief executive of Bolton-based personal injury specialist law firm Asons — and a keen boy racer of a Lamborghini Huracan.
Akram (pictured above) is so in love with his lime green luxury motor — the Huracan starts at £180,000 — that he wants to share it with as many in the northwest as possible. In addition to posting videos (one of which is below) of himself revving it large through Greater Manchester (bizarrely, it seems, on a mission to collect doughnuts for his hard pressed solicitors and staff), he has cooked up this corporate social responsibility wheeze.
Asons aims to reward “the most deserving charity employee from Bolton”, and has invited organisations such as Bolton Hospice, Bolton Lads & Girls Club and Bolton Steps to nominate candidates.
The treat for the winner? A gas-guzzling “drive experience” in Akram’s sophisticated car.
In launching the competition, the firm describes the Huracan as “a new generation Lamborghini, a stylish supercar with a V10 engine that can reach a top speed of 202mph using its 602bhp. Incredibly, it can go from 0-60mph in just three seconds”.
Asons — a “truly different “ law firm, according to its website — doesn’t appear to offer road traffic accident advice, so it might be a useful reminder to its lawyers that the top speed limit on UK motorways remains 70mph.
Akram himself has an interesting story to tell, which he does at length on a LinkedIn profile. A former cabby and postmaster, Akram describes himself as a “people person” with curiously no reference to being a petrol head.
He launched Asons Forecourts in 2004, which despite its name was labelled as being in the “law practice industry”. That morphed to Asons Estates and then Solicitors in 2008. Subsequently Asons Marketing, Foundation and Group have also sprung up.
Akram — who is director of all that lot — was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration last July from his alma mater, Bolton University.
As ostentatious as it is, Akram’s and Asons’ charity gig arguably can be written off as a bit fun with a flash car. Surely the Law Society should know better.
But no, it appears the accident prone PR disaster zone that purports to promote solicitors is just as likely to fall into the fat cat trap.
The organisation is hosting its annual “excellence awards” this evening at London’s Park Plaza Hotel, just the other side of Old Father Thames from the mother of all parliaments.
Sponsoring the event is another purveyor of luxury Italian sports cars, Maserati.
It will come as a relief to the high street and legal aid fraternity that Chancery Lane has got into bed with a business that manufactures cars they are much more likely to be able to afford — when compared with Akram’s Lamborghini.
Maseratis (pictured) start at around £100,000, which, let’s face it, is only the combined annual salaries of about four legal aid lawyers. But then legal aid lawyers are likely to be thin on the ground at the event.
Legal Cheek has already reported that individual tickets for Chancery Lane’s gala bunfight go for around £230 a pop. But even that’s not enough to finance the shindig, hence the sponsorship.
A Law Society spokeswoman defended wheeling in the supercar-makers:
“The event is funded by the Law Society and through sponsorship … Without the support of sponsors and partners these awards would not be possible.”