Super regulator probes events leading up to SRA’s closure of Axiom Ince

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By Thomas Connelly on

Important for public confidence, says LSB

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has confirmed it will undertake an independent review into the regulatory events leading up to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) intervention into Axiom Ince.

In a statement yesterday, the super regulator revealed it has drafted in Northern Irish law firm Carson McDowell to carry out the review. Carson McDowell isn’t regulated by the SRA, given its geographical location.

“This was a significant case with considerable consumer detriment,” the LSB said. “In the Board’s view, it will be important for public and professional confidence that any learning can be identified with independence, and that any conclusions that may be drawn are based on an objective assessment of the facts.”

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Legal Cheek previously reported that the Axiom Ince was shut down in October by the SRA, not long after it emerged that over £60 million had gone missing from the firm’s client account. It has been widely reported that the client money had been used to acquire law firms Ince and Plexus as well as a number of properties.

The LSB said it aimed to publish the outcome of the review in spring 2024 and thanked the SRA “for making clear its intention to co-operate fully with this review”.

The review has been welcomed by Law Society chief executive Ian Jeffery. “As the oversight body responsible for assessing and monitoring effective and transparent regulatory performance, the LSB has the necessary investigation and enforcement powers to ensure that the events and actions relating to this very serious incident are fully brought to light,” he said.

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