Warning: Emails misusing the name of DLA Piper
29 May 2019
Emails have been sent misusing the identity of DLA Piper UK LLP as part of a scam to trick an entity into making a payment to a fraudulent bank account.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from DLA Piper UK LLP in respect of a recent transaction.
The SRA has been informed that a false domain name has been created to adopt and assume the identity of DLA Piper UK LLP. The emails seen by the SRA were sent from "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com". The scam followed a third party's systems being compromised, and email addresses being set up to resemble those of genuine parties and their solicitors (see below). Payment was then made into a fraudulent bank account.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called DLA Piper UK LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (registered number OC307847) whose registered office is at 160 Aldersgate Street, London, EC1A 4HT. The firm operates using email addresses with a domain name of "@dlapiper.com".
The SRA also authorises and regulates Anna Middlebrook and Alan Cunningham whose genuine email addresses are "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com".
Both the genuine firm, and the genuine solicitors mentioned above, have confirmed that they are not connected to the emails to which this alert relates.
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.