The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has intervened into the practice of Abode Solicitors at The Studio, Greengate, Cardale Park, Harrogate.
The firm has been closed with immediate effect.
The SRA will stop the firm from operating, take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm (including clients’ papers), and take possession of all money held by the firm (including clients’ money).
The practising certificate of Rajob Ali will also be automatically suspended, so they will not be able to practice as a solicitor.
[Please note that the above statement regarding Mr Ali was based on statements made by the SRA. The SRA later issued an apology to Mr Ali indicating that Mr Ali’s practising certificate had not been automatically suspended and their previous statements in this respect were an error.]
The grounds of intervention are: Failure to comply with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules 1998 and the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
The SRA felt it was necessary to exercise powers of intervention in relation to Mr Rajob Ali and Abode Solicitors Limited to protect the interests of their clients (or former of potential clients) or the beneficiaries of any trust of which they are or were trustee.
The SRA has appointed an agent to deal with all matters currently held by Abode Solicitors. The agent will assess all on-going matters and deal with those of greatest need first.
At this stage of the SRA’s work, no further details can be disclosed. It is only if disciplinary proceedings become necessary that any information is released into the public domain.
Rob Hailstone, Founder, Bold Group said: “Unfortunately it came as no real surprise that the SRA closed Abode Solicitors on the 4th October.
“Bold Group members have been receiving warning emails about Abode (trading as Action Conveyancing) for the last two weeks.
“As a result, thankfully some member firms and their clients who have matters on with Abode have been able to avoid being caught up in the mess that now ensues.
"However, it is unfortunate that the SRA did not intervene earlier.”