Warning: Website in the name of "Herbert Smith Freehold"
25 October 2018
The website “www․herbertsmithfreehold.com” is operating, which is an adaptation of Herbert Smith Freehills, a global law firm.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that a website "www․herbertsmithfreehold.com" is operating.
The name of the firm is an adaptation of Herbert Smith Freehills and would appear to have been cloned from the website for Stewarts, www.stewartslaw.com.
The website claims to be for a law firm called “Herbert Smith Freehold”. This website is not a website for a genuine firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the SRA as the SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm called "Herbert Smith Freehold."
The distinct information is the contact details "https://www.herbertsmithfreehold.com/contact-us/index.html." Daniel Seale appears to be the distinct name giving the email address as “Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org”. All other names on the site appear to have been taken from the names of members of the partnership team at Stewarts.
It appears that the content of this website is almost identical to the content of the website operating at "www.stewartslaw.com".
Any business or transactions through "www․herbertsmithfreehold.com” or the contact details provided above are not undertaken by a firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors by the name of Stewarts, and also the genuine firm, Herbert Smith Freehills.
The firm “Herbert Smith Freehold” is not authorised or regulated by the SRA and does not exist. “Daniel Seale” is not a solicitor authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Stewarts have confirmed that they have no connection with “Herbert Smith Freehold” or Herbert Smith Freehills.
Herbert Smith Freehills have also confirmed that they have no connection with “Herbert Smith Freehold” or Stewarts.
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.