Warning: Letter misusing the name of Barnes And Partners

3 July 2019

A letter has been sent purporting to be signed by Nigel Barnes of Barnes And Partners.

What is the scam?

 The SRA has been informed that a letter has been sent claiming to be from Nigel Barnes of Barnes And Partners.

The document seen by the SRA relates to a debt recovery matter and threatens to issue County Court Proceedings on the recipient. The letter makes reference to the regulator and states 'I will also report you to your regulator as I have clear evidence your fraudulent and unprofessional service'.

The letter misuses the letterhead of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below). The document misuses the name, address, telephone number, email and SRA ID of a genuine firm (see below).

The document seen by the SRA purports to be signed by a genuine solicitor (see below).

Is there a genuine firm or person?

 Barnes And Partners is a genuine firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the SRA whose registered address is 90 Silver Street, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 3EP. The firm’s genuine telephone number is 0208 3702800. The SRA ID for the firm is 55002.

The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Nigel Barnes who is a senior Partner working at Barnes And Partners.

Both the genuine firm and the genuine Nigel Barnes have confirmed that they do not have any connection to the letter referred to above.

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.