The sudden collapse of the Immigration Advisory Service shocked the sector and left many clients without any way of obtaining their paperwork from their former lawyers. Following legal action by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association it will now be possible to obtain files on demand until 28 May 2012.
Unlike Solicitor Regulation Authority rules, OISC regulations make no provision for storage of files for defunct firms. There was presumably no money available for an orderly wind-down of the organisation and the IAS administrators, Cork Gully LLP, have applied to destroy all IAS files in their possession. In the meantime, it seems to have been difficult for ex IAS clients or their lawyers to get hold of old files.
See the ILPA website for full details of how to obtain files, including an application form for file retrieval, a copy of the order made that compels the Administrators to deal with existing requests for files and to respond to future requests ‘as soon as practicable’ if urgent and a copy of the notice that the Administrators are to place on the IAS website. The old IAS website (www.iasuk.org) seems to have been bought by a new firm calling itself the Immigration Advice Service that has set up a redirect to a new website (www.iasservices.org.uk) but presumably arrangements of some sort will be made in due course.