Paul Raudnitz QC acts for SFO in successful prosecution of £100m Axiom Legal Financing Fund Fraud


On 9th August 2022, at the conclusion of a trial at Southwark Crown Court which had lasted over 4 months, Mr Schools was convicted on all five counts, including charges of “fraudulent trading”, “fraud by abuse of position” and “money laundering”.

On 11th August, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The Axiom Fund was set up in 2009 by Mr Schools to provide loans to law firms pursuing no-win-no-fee cases. It secured over £100 million from approximately 500 investors, from which Mr Schools dishonestly appropriated over £19.6 million. The monies were hidden in offshore bank accounts held within complex overseas trusts, and were used to finance a lavish lifestyle that included the purchase of shares in a luxury ski hotel in France, a motorboat, luxury cars and a £5 million estate in the Lake District.

Paul Raudnitz QC appeared together with Miranda Moore QC and Aparna Rao.

He has been instructed in the case since shortly after the inception of the SFO investigation, advising and appearing at every stage in the proceedings.

The convictions represent the successful culmination of an extremely complex investigation stretching back over eight years.

The case has been widely reported:-


SFO press release

Investment manager behind £100 million no-win-no-fee fraud jailed for 14 years - Serious Fraud Office (

The Times

Solicitor Timothy Schools jailed for investment fraud News The Times

The Evening Standard

Solicitor jailed for 14 years after pocketing £20m from investors Evening Standard

Law Society Gazette

‘Utterly dishonest’ Axiom fund solicitor jailed for fraud News Law Gazette

The Daily Mail

Solicitor, 61, who fleeced investors out of £20million is jailed for 14 years  Daily Mail Online (

City AM

Axiom founder sentenced to 14 years in prison over £100m 'no win, no fee' investment fraud (

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