WORRIED clients of a Kidderminster law firm have been left shocked after the company was suddenly closed by solicitor watchdogs this week.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) intervened into the practice of Prescotts Solicitors, based in Church Street, on Monday (July 10) and seized control of all files and money held by the firm.

The SRA said it had taken this action due to suspicions of dishonesty by solicitor Richard Prescott and that he had failed to comply with their rules.

Customers with ongoing cases at the personal injury specialists found the doors to the offices locked with a simple sign posted on the door informing them of the closure.

A spokesman for the SRA said an agent has been appointed to deal with on-going matters at Prescotts, which is thought to have employed around five other members of staff.

Client Tina Moratelli, who had a personal injury claim with Prescotts, said: “I went for an update on Monday but the front door was locked and there was a sign on the door saying it had been closed.

“I approached them with my claim months ago but nothing seemed to be happening and it felt as if they were sitting on my case.

“I’m annoyed because I thought Mr Prescott was dealing with it but now I don’t know what stage my case is at.”

Prescotts was opened in 1976 by Mr Prescott’s father Derrick, who died in 2008.

A spokesman for the SRA said: “The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has intervened into the practice of Prescotts Solicitors.

“The grounds of intervention are that there was reasons to suspect dishonesty on the part of Mr Prescott, that he had failed to comply with the SRA Principles and Accounts rules.

“An intervention means the SRA has closed a firm with immediate effect.

“We will stop the firm from operating, take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm - including clients' papers- and take possession of all money held by the firm, including clients' money.

“We are not responsible for employees or trade creditors of firms that we have intervened in.

“The SRA has appointed an agent to deal with all matters currently held by Prescotts. The agent will assess all on-going matters and deal with those of greatest need first. The SRA's archive team will take control of all documents held by the firm.

“Clients of Prescotts do not need to contact either the agent or the SRA at this time.

“At this stage of the SRA's work, no further details can be disclosed. It is only if disciplinary proceedings become necessary that any information is released into the public domain.

“The SRA will now complete its investigation and decide on the appropriate course of action. There is no timescale for how long this work will take.”