axiom over

The next merger.

It’s all over for Axiom Ince.

Clients of the beleaguered firm have been informed that it is shutting down, RollOnFriday has learned. 

“We are in the process of winding down Axiom Ince Limited, which will cease to trade in the near future”, the email seen by ROF states.

The partner who sent it has already found a new home and asks their client whether they wish to keep their file with the lawyer, hand it to another firm, or leave it with Axiom Ince - “although I would not recommend this as the firm is soon to be closing”, warns the partner.

Hinting at the degree to which the firm is now in freefall, the Axiom Ince partner asks the client to confirm “what you wish to do as soon as possible” and by reply.

It’s not clear how closure will impact on the firm's claims against its own ex-Managing Partner, Pragnesh Modhwadia, who has been accused of liberating the client account of £64 million and spending it all. 

Regardless, things seem to be falling apart rather rapidly. Sources told ROF that internal comms were non-existent and the first that staff knew of the firm's imminent closure was when they spotted the template email being shot out to all the clients by partners.

They also described how they felt "utterly abandoned" by the Axiom directors. Whereas most of the partners have already left and many of the lawyers have been lifted and dropped into new firms, the 400-odd business services staff have been left high and dry, they said.

RollOnFriday has covered the whole sorry spectacle and there’ll be more on Friday, so do write in or email [email protected] if you're at the firm and wish to anonymously recount your experience.

In the meantime, if any firms have openings for motivated and resilient non-fee-earners, they could do worse than getting in touch with the long-suffering staff of Axiom Ince via the usual channels.

Axiom Ince has been asked for comment.

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Anonymous 25 September 23 19:19

A shambles of a law firm has bitten the dust

Hopefully Womble Bond Dickinson will be next…

Ghost of Gordon Dadds 25 September 23 20:09

Updates from the Board have been non-existent.  I can appreciate that they are worried about personal liability but, even so…this is the first many will hear of the closure of the firm.

F A M E 25 September 23 22:20

For what it’s worth Jamie. You have to give credit to Ince. The firm put your website on the map. Even The Times is quoting you now. 

Child & Child = Biles & Biles 26 September 23 00:16

I am sure many of us feel extremely sorry for the decent people who hung on to the end, hoping it would not end this way.

Rustem 26 September 23 07:51

Shyam Mistry has already found a new venture ( as director and owner of Harbor & Hearth. 

Anonymous 26 September 23 07:55

I'm one of the remaining staff. We've had no information from the highers about closing down, or what that is likely to look like. Will it be instant? Will there be a period of administrators messing around? We're clueless. There is no sharing of information. None.

Whenever there is a random email from time to time, it's invariably signed 'the directors' so you don't know who sent it.

Presumably the plan is that we will claim our redundancy pay from the government, which is a bit laughable given the missing 64 million. I'm sure the public would be thrilled at that outcome. 


SRA silence 26 September 23 07:56

But when did the SRA first know that Prags had been into the client accounts?

This on-going refusal to adopt a transparent approach and confirm what it knew and when it became aware, is unbefitting of a regulator.

The profession has been brought into disrepute by its own regulator whose incompetence will be laid bare only when it thinks the story has blown over.


King Prags 26 September 23 08:43

“Family” leaving drinks at Reign on me (well, ultimately the clients, but who cares about them?)!

Another shafted employee 26 September 23 08:46

There is a reason this Board is in place, they are clueless and let Prags steal whatever he liked.  The only updates we get are from RoF.  This Board are inept, incompetent, not fit for purpose and bring the profession into disrepute.  The sooner i can get a proper job run by people who take responsibility and have the basic courtesy of communicating with their staff the better...

PS the Chairman is still awol.

Billy dog 26 September 23 08:53

as one of one remaining  administrative  staff of plexus may i add that the lack of communication  and  information  is poor whilst various teams ave moved to various other rolls the facilities  it and  accounts are left in limbo waiting  for the bullets

Anonymous 26 September 23 10:11

Business Services staff have been completely and utterly shafted. As for the Axiom Board, they couldn't have cared less about the support staff. It is a sad culture that we have borne since THAT MAN was allowed to walk away with other people's money... 

A Pragrettable experience 26 September 23 10:23

This is just surreal at this point.

Anyone else seriously considering a clean break and a career change? 


Anonymous 26 September 23 10:43

I hope the SRA is proud of itself.  Lives ruined, client money missing and the profession brought into disrepute.  
Has the SRA watched any of the money laundering training videos it promotes?  The SRA is a facilitator of money laundering.  Layering through the acquisition of law firms. the paying of staff and suppliers.  But for the human cost, it would be absolutely hilarious.

When can we expect those at the top of the SRA to resign? 

Anonymous 26 September 23 11:00

@anonymous 7:55 - I would rather have my redundancy coming at some point in the future from the government than be owed a proper redundancy by the firm who needs to find millions for their clients.

Looking around at who's left, the support staff who are seeing things out to the end are absolute troopers. So many are working their hardest despite knowing that any day could be the last.

Anonymous 26 September 23 12:49

Last week the entire personal injury defendant team, which comprised of ex Plexus staff, moved across to the Direct Line Group and to DWF solicitors. Altogether around 30 staff or thereabouts moved as part of the TUPE process. This looks like to be the biggest single movement so far.

Ex Plex 26 September 23 13:51

@Anonymous 12.49


Very interesting, but I know from a direct source that can't be the whole team because there are at least two I can think of who have not made that move and are still at Axiom Ince. It might very well be most, but it's not all.


Of course, what's even more interesting is that at this point a sum total of 30 staff could feasibly be the totality of what was once a firm employing almost 900 people. Chaos reigns!


Also... does anyone have any idea who this mysterious cabal calling themselves "The Directors" are meant to have been from the last 2-3 months? Those faceless e-mails always made me chuckle. In an "if you don't laugh, you'll cry" sort of way, obviously, given that they were mostly to the effect of "we think, possibly, maybe, we might be able to pay you this month, if you bust enough of a gut on cash collection".

Ex Plexus Junior 26 September 23 13:55

What a shit show..

As a junior that’s just recently left from Plexus/Axiom, I wouldn’t be surprised if my cohort decide to totally change career paths. 

Anonymous 26 September 23 15:47

Well the sh*t show is finally coming to a close. Be good if the directors actually shared this with those left behind clearing up!  

Anonymous 26 September 23 16:49

The SRA are preventing clients from recovering their own money from the Axiom Clients Account including money the subject of solicitors undertakings given to other firms.

So the paradox is that SRA is facilitating the breach of one of the fundamental rules of practice, a rule they are responsible for upholding

Not surprisingly, clients are very angry indeed about this


Anon 26 September 23 18:14

Axiom have been avoiding their clients for months. I answered hundreds of their calls. It was getting a bit difficult when clients were asking if I had stolen their money, when I knew they had! Had many debt collectors calling 5 times a day threatening with inforcement officers. I did wonder how they could afford all these takeovers for millions, when they were being chased for low invoices. Now we all know why! I feel sorry for some of the really decent solicitors there, that did take their clients calls or call them back. Most didn't though tbh.

Ince 26 September 23 19:46

Wonderful to see Jennette escaping scot free.  all these partners telling employees Pragnesh was a breath of fresh air and an amazing individual. They’re all as bad as each other. This isn’t the first time either. Pre Adrian biles merger this was going on too. Let’s not forget the Andy Iyer fiasco. All the equity partners are equally to blame. A brunch of clowns. 

Anonimouse 26 September 23 20:33

Have the "directors" actually considered the mental well-being of their remaining staff? When it's all going well it's alllll about mental health but when sh*t hits the fan it just shows how much they actually care about you!

Anonymous 26 September 23 21:18

I am existing staff. I have also lost my training contract I was due to start next month and the firm have been no help whatsoever in helping me find another one elsewhere. They have abandoned us. 

Bizarre 26 September 23 21:43

Sorry, but why on earth hasn't Modhwadia been arrested and charged?  Where are the police or the SFO in all this?  Have law enforcement completely given up at this stage?  

Anonymous 27 September 23 00:37

As an employee who is from the Ince side who has just got paid early..I doubt this will go past Friday…..roll on Friday 

TruthTeller 27 September 23 09:17

What amazes me is the due diligence from the SRA during takeovers and to date no client as far as we are aware as come forward and said...where's my missing money?...there is clearly more to this than meets the eye.

Mr Wise 27 September 23 10:00

Before they close the doors for the final time, are 'The Directors' going to have the honesty and decency to refund the pension contributions they've wrongfully deducted from the wages of TUPE'd Plexus staff each month since July despite not enrolling those staff into a pension scheme with Axiom Ince? All e-mails on this topic sent to the COO Mike Barnes, the directors, HR and the staff queries inbox have simply been ignored. Are the SRA looking into this?

Anonymous 27 September 23 10:01

@Ex Plexus Junior couldn’t agree more, particularly if you work in a support role. The treatment of support has been appalling! Viewed and treated like second class citizens.

Some support, who were left behind by the legal teams they worked in, were still been asked by their ex colleagues to carry out work requests for them! Such a petty..

To support staff 27 September 23 10:54

Ex plex here.


I know many of the support staff personally and they are a great bunch of hard working people who keep things running behind the scenes.


It's a disgrace the way they've been treated during this shameful saga.


It really is a damning reflection of the state of it all.


You all deserve better.

Long suffering 27 September 23 11:13

@Mr Wise 10.00


You can include Ince staff in that as well, staff pension contributions missing.

Ex-Employee 27 September 23 12:05

Heart breaks for everyone injured by pure greed and callousness!  Why is Prags and his co-horts to include his EA who helped manage their thieving scheme, walking around scott-free?  Where is the police?  Why is there no investigation into the SRA's disasterous handling of their own investigations of Prags, which started in 2018.  3 days before the door permanently closes. (2 really - the last day is a Saturday).  WTAF!


Ex-Employee 27 September 23 12:16

@TruthTeller  I am first hand aware of one particular client chasing thousands of pounds held on account at Axiom and he has been ignored!  I am sure there are many others.

Anonymous 27 September 23 15:44

I hear the last remaining partners from Plexus have gone to Horwich Farrelly… Horwich do realise there was a reason those partners were left behind, particularly the London partners.

Perhaps Horwich see this as a VICTory HAHAchachaHAHA

Scraping for sure!

Ex P 27 September 23 16:28

This whole situation is sad for the industry.  The negligent and inept management from Plexus C suite is clearly something that is shared at Axiom Ince.  You can't cure poison with poison. 


I just hope the innocent fee earners and support staff find a new home so they can start getting their careers back on track. 


As for the clients caught up in the money scandal, let's hope those involved get what's coming to them! 

Monathan Jetliss 27 September 23 17:09

Where is Jonathan Metliss in this situation? Is he resorting to his typical "I'm not involved" stance?

As the Chairman of Axiom Ince, he bears full accountability for this mess. It's unacceptable for him to simply disengage. His lack of involvement is incredibly disappointing.

Doom or Destiny 27 September 23 17:21

The AxiomInce (plexus) accounts came back with no problems proof that Plexus wasn’t all bad! 
INCE&CO or whatever they are called have came across as chaotic and a complete mess no planning they have been dumped by the partners and have struggled  I feel a lot of empathy for the support staff along with Plexus support staff that are trying to do the best they can. 
The SRA should be paying all of our redundancy’s as they are the ones that have caused this mess! 
Plexus staff are still having pensions being deducted from pay even though there isn’t a pension company. The BOARD are useless no information AT ALL..

The whole things has been a shambles. The sooner this is all over the better.. as for the piece of scum that bought Plexus I hope he  will NEVER be able to buy another business….. rotten  

Anon 27 September 23 17:30

Failing firms where best partners left and failing partners remained consolidated into giant failing and now failed law firm - sadly an unsurprising outcome - Axiom didn’t take on the best & brightest only the failed…..

Anon 27 September 23 18:42

Unbelievably, the SRA have said today that ‘we may intervene’. Exactly the same as the Metamorph debacle last year. Surely the whole point of an SRA intervention is to protect clients, employees and the wider legal profession, not a token gesture to be made when the doors have already been closed, pensions and salaries have gone missing, client money ‘all spent’?

Their justification for not intervening earlier? ‘It appeared to be a deliberate act of dishonesty and none of the other partners had anything to do with it’. Even at this late stage, there are 16 active directors listed at Companies House. And… none of them noticed anything awry? None of them had access to the accounts? None of them worked on files with unexplained discrepancies in the Client Account? Hmm, ok then…

Mr Wise 28 September 23 08:23

Long suffering 27/09/2023 at 11:13 and Pension misappropriation 27/09/2023 at 16:05

Ls - I am sorry to hear that this affects Ince pensions as well. I have been told (and take it at face value for now) that non-payment of ‘collected’ pension contributions is a criminal offence and might be protected under the pension protection scheme (i.e. the pensions regulator might be liable for compensating us for the missing contributions). I have now reported this to the pensions regulator via a form on its website and I suggest everyone else similarly affected does so too. I'm guessing someone at the SRA will read these comments (they're clearly not spending their time doing anything else of use, are they?), so could they please comment publicly on what they're doing about this issue. 

My Eyes Hurt From Linkedin 28 September 23 14:04

When you see the last rats abandoning ship after years of praising the new dawns of the donkey king, gavin and stacey, and then praggers gone wild. Actively trying to get other people behind these awful cretins all in their own financial interest. Terrible judges of character and even worse Linkedin posts about their new pastures and 1000+ years of collective experience advising clients (I am not sure it works like that, but hey ho worth a go!). Hasn’t HF asked itself why these people are scrambling for safety. I give them 12 months unless they can fake it for longer on the basis of Plexus PTSD

To anon at 15.44 re Plexus Partners 28 September 23 14:19

I worked with the Leeds partners several years ago and can tell you they are the most genuine bunch of people I’ve come across in my legal career. They were all very good at their jobs and lovely people to work with. Your comment is very unsavoury. I wish them well and am really happy they have found a new home. 

Porridge 28 September 23 14:39

Vragtes 29 September 23 14:10

Thank goodness I’m no longer regulated by the SRA. They really couldn’t tell the difference from their butt-holes and holes in the ground.
October used to be the time when you scrabbled round, cap in hand to bloated insurers trying to arrange next year’s PI cover and you’d also renew practicing certificates. Can you imagine the jump in the Compensation fund contribution required to fund this mess? 

Not being able to call myself a solicitor any longer because I refused to pay the £20 charge allegedly to meet the costs of keeping the roll (really?) is a tiny price to pay for not having to be regulated by the SRA. Or having to pay handsomely to a fund to compensate clients from conduct that should have been easily prevented. 

Good luck to all those still working probably hoping, Mr McCawber like, for something to turn up. 

Marley's Ghost 29 September 23 15:28

To Vragtes 29 Sept 14.10. Rule of thumb when being a smart ass: Spell Micawber correctly. Oh and it's practising because it's a verb. 

Rosie Heys 29 September 23 15:38

It's difficult to believe that NO ONE, none of the partners none of the admins, none of the paralegals, none of the staff no accountants, auditors or anyone saw anything dodgey at all going on....

Did anyone whistleblow?  Did anyone do anything that might disrupt the gravy train?

To those who truly didn't know, my sympathies, to those who did, and turned a blind eye you were complicit.  

Anonymous 29 September 23 21:23

@28 September 14:19 

You say “unsavoury” but 14 found it tasty 😋 

p.s I note you only refer to the Leeds partners. Clap back when you know what you are talking about and have real experience otherwise pipe down! 

Says more about you than them 01 October 23 19:23

It has not gone unnoticed that some people are slagging off some of the Partners from Plexus/Axiom who have joined HF. 

Says more about you than them! 

The Partners who left Plexus and didn’t join Axiom were wished well by the ones who stayed, and that continues. Shame some people can’t move on, and have to let their petty jealousies lead to them being unkind, slagging off good people and generally being a bit of a dick. Leave them alone and move on for Pete’s sake. 


GGG 01 December 23 11:43

That’s one heck of a lot of money to have gone missing in a law firm. I wonder who discovered it - by the sounds of it, it wasn’t the auditors.