Fight against professional enablers sees dishonest solicitor no longer able to practice
Mr. Kamran Akram, a former Director of Asons Solicitors, which had already been found to be operating fraudulently, lost his practice certificate as a result and was ordered to pay Esure costs of £250,000.
We have been determined to take a zero tolerance approach to insurance fraud in all its forms, but especially the activities of ‘professional enablers’, and this latest case is a particularly significant result for the wider insurance sector and honest policyholders, following a long battle against Asons Solicitors.
Having previously won cases against the former Bolton-based Asons Solicitors, which was shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2017. That year Horwich Farrelly dealt a blow to the firm after a judge ruled a claimant solicitor had made “gross failures” in handling a personal injury claim in which key documents were found to contain forged signatures. In 2019 Horwich Farrelly also secured the committal of Haroon Karim, the former director of multiple claims management agencies/hire companies who worked with Asons Solicitors. Karim was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Mr. Kamran Akram is the latest ‘professional enabler’ involved with Asons Solicitors that we, along with Esure, have successfully removed from the industry. Although Asons Solicitors was closed in 2017, its director, Mr. Akram, did not lose his license to practice law and was therefore able to continue presenting fraudulent claims.
The latest case against Mr. Akram (Esure Services Ltd vs. Shamim Lohar and Kamran Akram) was heard at the High Court of Justice on 4th and 5th February 2020. The personal injury claim, made in 2015 following a 2013 road traffic accident, was found to be fraudulent on a number of counts. The claim included a fabricated claim for medical treatment valued at over £6,000. The claim was supported by a number of documents which were shown to be false and which could be traced back to Mr. Akram. This claim formed part of a much wider conspiracy in which the same scam was perpetrated in hundreds of similar actions. As a result of the court’s order, Mr. Akram cannot obtain a license to practice without the permission of the trial judge. He also received an order to meet Esure’s costs of £250,000. This was instead of receiving a custodial sentence. As Akram is bankrupt, his family agreed to pay the costs on his behalf.
Ronan McCann, Managing Partner of Horwich Farrelly commented: “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. This case serves as a stark warning to other ‘professional enablers’ that Horwich Farrelly will continue to work with the industry to take down these claims and remove dishonest individuals from the sector.”
Andy Nixon, Fraud Operations Manager at Esure commented: “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”