The solicitor who ran a controversial law firm investment fund has been struck off.

Timothy Schools founded the £120 million, Cayman-based Axiom Legal Financing Fund in 2009. He persuaded backers with more money than sense that it would provide a return of 11% per year by funding UK law firms running Group Litigation Orders (essentially class actions). The idea was that the fund would clean up when the cases were settled.

The problem (did you see this coming?) was that the cases didn't settle very quickly, if at all. And so in 2012 the fund went into receivership. Its implosion was followed by the collapse of the law firms it propped up. In February, Axiom-funded Tandem Law placed all its staff (except of course its management team) into a redundancy consultation, while its furious director promised RollOnFriday he would sue the fund's manager for failing to deliver "what we were promised". Then, in April, despite earlier assertions that it was healthy as a horse, another Axiom beneficiary, Ashton Fox, bit the dust.

Schools was not struck off for his involvement in the calamitous Axiom Legal Financing Fund, but for his management of ATM Solicitors, which oddly enough turned out to be funded by (did you see this coming?) Axiom Legal Financing Fund. The Tribunal said School's overriding concern was to run the firm, "in the words of the Respondent himself, as an “Automated Teller Machine”, hence the name ATM".

The state of Schools' career in a language he understands

The SDT upheld ten allegations against Schools, including the charge that he allowed Axiom to exercise an "inappropriate" degree of control over the firm. Which was hard to deny given the manner in which the fund's own website described its relationship with ATM: “In other words, the fund owns the legal action".

The Tribunal said Schools' "whole funding setup was designed to produce the maximum profit for those involved heedless of the interests of the clients", and that he had shown a "disregard" for their interests. It also found him guilty of conflicts of interest, a lack of integrity, ignoring his duty to clients and plenty more. Schools, whose £6.5m fortune has been subject to a freezing order since last May, is appealing the decision.
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 12 September 14 13:12

Could this be the same Tim Schools who suffered a similar misfortune back in 2003?

Anonymous 12 September 14 14:05

Maybe the courts and authorities should check under the mattresses here too located in Switzerland of all places

Anonymous 12 September 14 20:42

Worth reading the 79 page decision linked in the article. This does not ring very true for a supposed cyclist and fit man..."He is suffering symptoms akin to post traumatic stress disorder and is finding
it very difficult to cope with the demands that he is being faced with. This is
affecting his mood, sleep and principally his ability to con
Please take this into consideration in your dealings with him. He is not fit to
face a tribunal without adequate representation"...
Typical excuse. Should have dragged himself out of bed for the hearing.

Anonymous 15 March 18 23:28

He has now set up as " the crisis coach" ? Advising people on emotional and financial issues!! ??