‘Arrested In Dawn Raids’ Is Certainly One Way For A Law Firm To End

Last Will And Testament

Handcuffs and FingerprintsAxiom DWFM (not to be confused with legal services provider Axiom Law) was a UK law firm on the rise. As its LinkedIn page described the firm’s upward trajectory, “we are now becoming the preferred legal partner to many businesses within London, across the UK and internationally.” To further fuel that growth, Axiom DWFM started acquiring other firms, specifically Plexus and Ince.

Why do the UK firms all sound like late-night infomercial products?

The combined firm, Axiom Ince, employed around 1400 people. It is decidedly not the preferred legal partner of many businesses anymore. Let’s check out the website:Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 11.41.39 AM Well, that’s not great.

And it gets worse!

The Serious Fraud Office has arrested seven people in dawn raids as it launches a criminal investigation into the suspected theft of £66m of client money from collapsed law firm Axiom Ince.

Early on Tuesday morning more than 80 SFO investigators and Met police officers bashed doors down at nine locations across the south of England to grab their targets and carry out searches.

The theory of the case is that the “£66m of client money” got diverted to fund the mergers and further growth, making this a sort of law firm Ponzi scheme.

And the allegations read like something out of a Madoff documentary:

Modhwadia is accused of doctoring a letter from the State Bank of India so it falsely showed that it was holding a £57m sum missing from the firm’s Barclays client account. He is alleged to have given the forged letter to Pinsent Masons, which he had instructed to represent Axiom Ince in the SRA investigation, and Pinsents dutifully passed the letter to the regulator.

According to RollOnFriday’s reporting, Axiom’s founder and sole shareholder Pragnesh Modhwadia was somehow NOT one of the folks arrested this week, even though his house was among those searched.

The ongoing liberty of Pragnesh Modhwadia, Axiom’s founder and sole shareholder, has left ROF commenters baffled after he admitted spending most of the missing money.

Yeah, that is a stumper.

Seven arrested in Axiom Ince dawn raids [RollOnFriday]Axiom Ince: Dawn raids and arrests as Serious Fraud Office launches probe [LegalCheek]

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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