A LAWYER whose controversial firm was branded "a disgrace" by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal cannot practice again without agreement of a judge.

In May 2018 Kamran Akram, owner of Bolton law firm Asons, was barred from acting as a solicitor for 18 months after the tribunal heard how his company, which acted for people in personal injury claims, exaggerated claims and inflated fees.

The firm closed in March 2017 following an investigation by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the disciplinary tribunal found that Akram lacked integrity and behaved recklessly.

READ MORE: Boss of Asons suspended from practising as a solicitor

Now Akram faces never being able to work as a solicitor again following a case brought by insurance industry law firm Horwich Farrelly on behalf of insurers Esure.

The test case at the High Court in Manchester centred on a personal injury claim handled by Asons and made in 2015 following a road accident two years earlier which was found to be fraudulent in several areas.

It included fabricated claims, amounting to more than £6,000, for medical treatment and documents relating to the claim were found to be false.

Kamran was due to face trial over the allegations and if the judgement went against him, could have faced a prison sentence.

Instead, at the committal hearing this month, he agreed to a court order being made banning him from obtaining a licence to practice without the permission of trial judge Mr Justice Turner QC. Akram is bankrupt and so his family agreed to pay Esure's £250,000 costs of the case on his behalf.

Ronan McCann, managing partner of Horwich Farrelly welcomed the outcome.

He said: “There has been significant industry scrutiny of Asons over the years, and many other insurance providers have brought actions against the firm as well as Akram himself.

"Despite the firm being shut down in March 2017, Akram didn’t lose his practicing certificate and the industry has been understandably concerned about the potential that more fabricated and exaggerated claims could be generated.

"Whilst the SRA was unable to secure a finding that Akram should be struck off, we have worked closely with Esure to prosecute this action, with the aim of removing him from the industry.

“In light of the evidence we presented and the realisation that he faced a significant custodial sentence, Akram confirmed he will not apply for a certificate to practice as a solicitor without first obtaining permission from the High Court.

"His removal from the industry is extremely positive news for insurers who have been bearing the cost of these fraudulent and exaggerated claims."

Andy Nixon, fraud operations manager at Esure added: “This is a great outcome and reflects our determination and commitment in tackling insurance fraud. This was an important result for Esure and the wider industry as it demonstrates the action that will be taken when professional enablers are found to be aiding fraudulent activity”

In a separate move Akram, aged 42, of Albert Road West, Bolton, has been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.

The Insolvency Service stated that between late 2013 and early 2015 he failed to exert adequate control over the financial affairs of Asons Solicitors Limited with the consequence that Asons issued 159 bills of costs where the amount claimed was either misrepresented or inflated, resulting in Asons insurers having to pay £838,854.

  • There was outrage when it was discovered that Bolton Council had given Asons a secret £300,000 grant to carry out refurbishment work at their Churchgate offices.

READ MORE: The Asons story so far

  • In July last year Haroon Karim, the Nottingham-based director of multiple claims management agencies, who worked with Asons, was jailed for six months for contempt of court after he was found to have forged claimants' signatures.

READ MORE: Failed law firm Asons owes tax man £1.4m