🎵What a difference an SRA makes🎵
Axiom Ince staff have been left fuming as directors celebrated scoring new jobs at other firms while employees were locked out of their computers before they could access redundancy advice.
As ROF revealed on Monday, the SRA finally intervened in the firm when its professional indemnity insurance expired over the weekend.
“We are extremely sorry to have to confirm that our insurance cover ceased at midnight on 30th September and the Solicitors Regulation Authority has now served an intervention notice on us”, the Axiom Ince directors told staff in an email, adding that they had started the process of appointing an administrator.
“We appreciate that many of you will have questions”, continued the board, which promised to circulate FAQs during the course of the day.
Staff complained that all they heard after that was the sound of directors revving out of the car park.
“It's a relief to see that the Director that circulated the above email managed to get their resignation as a Director lodged at Companies House in time today, but not to provide the promised FAQ or redundancy letters”, said one employee.
When the information did arrive, it wasn't universally well-received. “Just had an email telling us how to claim from the government. With an attachment about cv and interview tips. What a fecking insult. Go feck yourselves!” said one Axiom Ince employee.
Then the computer systems shut down without warning, leaving staff unable to access the advice or their notices of termination unless they had forwarded it to a non-work email account.
Staff at Axiom Ince’s Wanstead office were “in tears” when it was intervened on Tuesday morning, said a source. But for others, things are looking up.
After a post hailing the acquisition of Ince as "the next exciting chapter in our journey", director and head of dispute resolution Daniel Gleek announced on LinkedIn that he was starting a new job as a partner at Jury O’Shea LLP. His good news was illustrated with a drawing of people dancing around a cupcake. “Fucking hilarious”, commented a Plexus employee.
Another Axiom Ince director, head of corporate and commercial Claudine Lawrence, celebrated her move to Burlingtons Legal LLP with a smiling sunflower, which was an unexpected direction given her previous post on LinkedIn insisted that Axiom's purchases would "strengthen our legal services".
“Administrators haven’t been instructed yet and they’re all dropping!” said an employee, adding, “But don’t worry, those of us left will clear up”.
Lawyers who hadn't found new jobs expressed resentment towards partners they accused of convincing them to stay for months longer than they otherwise would have, then abandoning them.
“First it was 'the firm is in good financial health and Olivia [Roberts, Plexus CEO] knows what she is doing' then it was 'Don't worry Keoghs will buy us' and finally 'Axiom Ince are amazing. What an opportunity. We are all going to be able to diversify and do private client work'", said the individual.
Trainees and future trainees have attempted to pick up their contracts elsewhere. HFW has been interviewing some for its 2026 intake, while WFW are understood to be doing the same, and at least one has landed on their feet and left Axiom Ince for a Magic Circle firm.
Ince and Plexus imploding and being sold to a firm which itself implodes left one commentator suggesting that "It would be pure comedy if it wasn’t so embarrassing for the legal profession".