Warning: Document misusing the name of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP
19 January 2018
An individual has received emails and a document falsely claiming to be from Martin Gunson of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP.
What is the scam?
The SRA has received information that an individual has received emails sent in the name of Martin Gunson, claiming to be from Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP. One of the emails includes an escrow document.
The SRA has seen a copy of an email in the name of Martin Gunson, in relation to the subject “Escrow Refund rescourse undertaking”. The email was sent from the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The email also claims that Martin Gunson is from Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP and suggests that the letter has been sent from the Firm’s registered address at 10 Queen Street Place, London, EC4R 1BE.
Any business or transactions conducted through the email address "email@example.com” 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 of solicitors which is authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The genuine firm does have a genuine office address at: 10 Queen Street Place, London, EC4R 1BE.
The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine solicitor named Martin Gunson, and he is a solicitor at the genuine firm of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP.
Both the genuine firm of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP and the genuine solicitor, Martin Gunson confirm that the emails as referred to above are not genuine, and that its names and contact details have been used without its permission or knowledge within the false emails.
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.