SDT strikes off former Ince partner over £3m expenses fraud

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  • "Iyer first embarked on his scheme when he was an assistant solicitor, submitting claims for around £55,000, but most frauds took place after he made partner".

    How did he find the time to make a claim for Partnership? The fraud would have almost been a full-time job!

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  • £55k is a huge amount to claim as a Partner, let alone a solicitor! I work at a comparable firm to Ince and submitted a £200 bar tab last week and was worried I'd be questioned on it! Beggars belief how one would get away with this!

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  • He also appears to have written a couple of crime thrillers and dated some C list celebs. Busy chap!

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  • What kind of accounting system did Ince have in place, or is this an example of a greedy firm turning a blind eye to the activities of a very high billing, star, partner, as Iyer was? Wonder whatelse is going on at Ince?

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  • Ince, what a shambolic place by the sounds of it. Glad I'm not a client of THAT firm.

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  • ....and he was voted 'UK Energy Lawyer' of the year a few years back. My old company used to instruct him. Quite a fall from grace. Excellent lawyer though, one of the best Ince had I must admit.

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  • Best litigator I've ever seen and the man to have in your corner in a fight. had no idea he was crooked! It's right he has been struck off, but I hope he reforms and gets back to the law at some point

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  • I used to work at Ince & Co with this guy when he sat in Peter Rogan's room as an articled clerk in the early 1990s. He was considered a bit of a star even back then and was quite a likeable chap, although he could be a little bit arrogant at times.

    I recall that Ince had a very arcane accounting system.

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  • How on earth can this have been missed for so long?

    What do their auditors have to say?

    Who regularly signed off the partnership accounts?

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  • It looks like he got away with it for so long because it was a disbursements scam, where he added fake disbursements to client invoices, and got the client to pay for them, and then his firm paid the disbursement.

    I guess if he had been stealing directly from the firm it might have been noticed more quickly.

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  • Just struck off...but Iyer fell on his sword and confessed everything in 2010, so why has it taken the SRA/SDT a year and a half to deal with this? Does the Law Soc really take this stuff seriously as the guardian of the profession? And what about Ince? Surely it ought to be robustly sanctioned as well for letting him get away with this as an exampe to other firms seeing as it is happening all the time these days.

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  • £2.8 million in fake disbursements not being noticed by Ince's accounts department. Whatever kind of scam it was there is no excuse for that by Ince. Don't they check anything there?

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  • Interesting comment from Chris above about Mr Iyer being such an excellent litigator. My firm has been on the other side of Mr Iyer and you get a feel for whether someone is bent or not by their behaviour. Believe me, he was bent. But it doesn't surprise me at Ince & Co that this was not noticed.

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  • Why jeopardise a career over extra money when you could have worked for 20 or 30 years more at £400k a year? Why not instead form a business in your spare time if you need more money or whatever? Why need more money anyway?

    So he prepared about 400 fraudulent invoices? Surely that would be a lot more than anyone else so would stand out as unusual?

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  • Ince & Co has just been named as law firm of the year by Roll on Friday, the legal news site. I agree if assistants can easily claim 'extras' in expenses up to 55K pa and partners have open cheque books, sorry 'disbursement claims' running into millions. Where do I sign up. Aren't city law firm just great. Or maybe RoF has a better sense of humor than James Wilson, SP of Ince.

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  • @anon 1.07 "why jeopardise your career when you could have worked for another 20 or 30 years more?" - I think you've answered your own question. Cash now is better than a promise for cash in the future.

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  • Portrays an image that law firms aren't too bothered about disbursements.

    Cordery on Solicitors is worth a look, particularly in relation to liability for disbursements.

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  • "Nathan Lyer (also known as Andrew)"

    Surely that should have set off alarm bells.

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  • the company i worked for in the eighties in London used Ince 7 Co all the time including substantial litigation matters.They were more than brilliant and this firm will more than just survive this setback. Within weeks ,all this will be history and there will be no loss of long term clients.

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  • EC3 - sounds as if Mr Iyer beat your firm good and proper on a case......ho hum!

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  • If he is such a good lawyer he should do well in prison but he isnt there yet is he? Two years later after a very early admission of guilt he still hasnt been tried. What a contrast between rioters being tried and multi million pound fraudsters. I know which I would rather be.

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  • @ Anon 9 Feb 2012 9:53 pm - you could look at that another way. The rioters are all done and dusted and serving their terms. They will be out of jug and rehabilitating before Mr Ince even gets into the dock. Meanwhile, he's been sitting at home staring at the wreck he's made of his life for two years, and no prospect of that changing in the foreseeable future. Justice delayed is not necessarily a good thing for the criminal either...

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  • is his case over?? would he face further charges??

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