Warning: Email and document misusing the name and details of Mills & Reeve LLP
14 June 2019
An email and document misusing the name and details of Mills & Reeve LLP have been sent regarding an unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
The SRA has received a report that a member of the public has received an email which falsely claims to be from “John Reeves” of Mills & Reeve LLP.
The SRA understands that the email was forwarded to the member of the public by an acquaintance he had met over the internet and had an attached document called a "Statutory Declaration of Proper (Will)". This document was headed "Mills & Reeve", and gave the telephone number "+447418343647", and an email address of Johnreeves2011@outlook.com.
The email appears to be sent from the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" and gave details of the postal address and DX address of the genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The SRA has also been advised that "John Reeves" purports to be an attorney in the firm “Alexander Wright Law Firm”. The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called "Alexander Wright Law Firm".
Any business or transactions through the email address "email@example.com" or telephone number “+447418343647”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 of solicitors called Mills & Reeve LLP, whose genuine head office is at Monument Place, 24 Monument Street, London EC3R 8AJ and whose genuine DX address is DX 152340 Lime Street 4.
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called John Reeves who is a solicitor at the genuine firm of Edward McCourt & Co. LLP.
Both the genuine firm of Mills & Reeve and the genuine individual, Mr John Reeves have confirmed that they have no connection to the email or document referred to above.
The SRA authorises and regulates several genuine solicitors called Alexander Wright, none of whom are believed to be connected to the email or document 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.