A BOLTON solicitors firm has been shut down and its manager suspended from the profession.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority took the decision to close Allansons Solicitors, which had been operating out of an office Queens Buildings in Central Street, after ruling that its manager, Roger Allanson, had failed to comply with a number of regulations.
A notice from the industry regulator on the door to Allansons' office states that the firm was shut down on Friday, and that all “practice papers, files and monies held” were now in the possession of the SRA.
The firm, which also has an office in Wigan, specialised in breaches in mortgage contracts relating to payment miscalculations.
On its website, Allansons promised to work "on behalf of borrowers to claim money back from their lenders."
The firm had set up a scheme, which saw investors put money towards supporting claims against lenders, promising a return on the investment.
Mr Allanson told the Bolton News that the scheme had proved to be an "unexpected gap in the market".
However, he described the decision to shut the firm and suspend him as "unnecessary".
He added: "There was no dishonesty with this scheme, it was an opportunity for people who are not adverse to risk to gain a return on an investment.
"We have raised about £20,000,000 to back about 4,000 cases, and have an insurance policy if it goes wrong.
"They are all grown ups who are able to make their own decisions.
"This decision has been taken because they (the SRA) are worried this will collapse under their watch."
In December, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ordered Mr Allanson, who was a board member of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Trust until recently, to pay a £17,000 fine plus £10,000 costs after finding he breached regulations, including allowing improper payments to be made out of the client account and allowing client money to be paid into the firm’s account.
The tribunal stated it was "objectionable" that Mr Allanson allowed the client account to be used to administer payments. "It is no part of a solicitor's practice to provide a banking facility," the judgement said.
However, the tribunal found that the rules breach "occurred through inadvertence and was not due attributable to an improper motive". No loss was caused to clients.
Mr Allanson’s partner, Mohamed Patel, faced similar allegations and was fined £10,000 plus £7,500 in costs.
Last month, the SRA ruled that Mr Allanson should not be allowed to act as a manager or owner of any authorised body, or receive or access client money.
He was also banned from acting as a signatory to any client or office account, or from authorising electronic transfers from any client or office account.
The SRA stated that the decision had been taken "in the public interest".
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