Warning: Email misusing the name of Harper James Solicitors

28 June 2019

An email has sent misusing the name "Harper James Solicitors", claiming to provide new bank details.

What is the scam?

 An email has sent misusing the name "Harper James Solicitors", claiming to provide new bank details.

The SRA has been informed that an email has been sent to a client of the genuine firm (see below). The email falsely claims to provide details of a new bank account and asks the recipient to send a payment of £18,000 to a bank account in the name of "HJ Solicitors".

The email misuses the genuine email address of a genuine solicitor at the genuine firm (see below). It also provides the address 'The Innovation Centre, 217 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP'. 

Any business or transaction through the address listed 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?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm called Expert Business Advisors Limited (trading as Harper James Solicitors) whose head office is Units 2-5, Velocity Tower, 1 St Mary’s Square, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 4LP. The firm’s genuine telephone number is 0800 6891 700.

The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Michael Key who works at the genuine firm and whose genuine email address is

The genuine firm and genuine Michael Key have confirmed they have no genuine or intended connection to the email referred to in the above alert.

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.