Last year, after the Churchgate-based company collapsed more than two years ago, it was stated that creditors were claiming a total of £26.5 million.
But an annual progress report, lodged with Companies House this month by the liquidators, states that more work needs to be done on sorting out Asons’ affairs and it is still not known when creditors will be paid, or how much money they are likely to get back. Among the creditors is HM Revenue and Customs, who say they are owed £1.4 million by the controversial former personal injury specialists.
The progress report states: “Due to the uncertainty as to the level of work required to address the outstanding issues summarised, it is difficult to estimate the timing of any dividend to unsecured creditors or the closure of the liquidation. An estimated outcome statement has not been provided, due to the uncertain nature of potential recoveries and future costs.”
Outrage was caused when it was discovered that, in 2016, Bolton Council handed the company a £300,000 grant to help refurbish the Churchgate offices. It was subsequently repaid in full after the authority warned that it would be launching legal proceedings to recover the grant.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority intervened in March 2017, just after the business and its assets were sold to Coops Law Ltd for nearly £230,000. Two months later the SRA also intervened in Coops Law.
In May last year Kamran Akram, one of the founders of Asons, was handed an 18-month suspension from practising as a solicitor after appearing before a Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal. It was told that he had failed to run Asons effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles.
Then, in March this year, another of Asons’ solicitors, Munir Majid, was also suspended from practising for six months. He had become head of legal practice at Coops Law but a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal stated that he “acted with a lack of integrity and had failed to act in the clients’ best interests.”