Alerts

Warning: Emails misusing the name Bates Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors

17 July 2017

Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from "Philip Trott" of "Bates Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors".

What is the scam?

The SRA has been informed that emails have been sent that falsely claim to be from "Philip Trott", at "Bates Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors". The emails seen by the SRA refer to an unclaimed investment belonging to a deceased client with the same surname as the recipient of the email.

The emails state they are from "Philip Trott" of Bates Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors. However, the SRA is informed that they are sent from the email addresses "philiptrott@outlook.com", "philiptrott31@gmail.com", "philiptrott25@gmail.com", "philiptrott1@hotmail.com" and "philiptrott@outlook.com".

Some of the emails provide a telephone number of "+441618503597", and give the website of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below). Other emails also misuse the address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).

Any business or transactions through the email addresses or telephone number above are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP is a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The genuine firm has its head office at 10 Queen Street Place, London, EC4R 1BE and its genuine website is www.bwbllp.com.

The SRA does regulate a genuine solicitor by the name of Philip Trott, who is a Member at the genuine firm of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP.

The genuine firm and genuine solicitor have confirmed that they have no connection to the emails referred to above.

The firm has posted a warning about hoax communications on its website.

What should I do?

When a firm's or individual's identity has been copied exactly (or cloned), due diligence is necessary. If you receive correspondence claiming to be from the above firm(s) or individual(s), or information of a similar nature to that described, you should conduct your own due diligence by checking the authenticity of the correspondence by contacting the law firm directly by reliable and established means. You can contact the SRA to find out if individuals or firms are regulated and authorised by the SRA and verify an individual's or firm's practising details. Other verification methods, such as checking public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records) may be required in other circumstances.