Warning: Letter from 'Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP'
23 May 2019
A letter has been sent from 'Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP' claiming to be a law firm based in Witney.
What is the scam?
A member of the public has received a letter sent from 'Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP' claiming to be a law firm based in Witney, Oxfordshire.
The letter seen by the SRA claims to be from a solicitor’s firm called 'Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP'. The letter appears to promote legal services and it claims that all of its 'legal services are provided by solicitors of England and Wales and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.'
The letter misuses a genuine law firm’s SRA ID, address, and also misuses a genuine solicitor's name (see below).
The letter provides a heading; 'solicitors' under which it lists the names of the following individuals; Hameed Ayyaz, Raymond Ridley and David Hillman (see below).
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors by the name of "Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP" and it does not authorise or regulate any individual named Hameed Ayyaz.
Any business or transactions through "Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP" are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Update 5/23/2019 12:00:00 AM
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called John Welch & Stammers Solicitors whose SRA ID is 567390.
The SRA also authorises and regulates the genuine solicitor; Kery Joels, whose SRA ID is 132487. Kery Joels is the owner of John Welch & Stammers Solicitors.
The SRA used to authorise and regulate the individuals mentioned above; Raymond Ridley and David Hillman, however these individuals are no longer authorised by the SRA.
The SRA authorises and regulates another law firm called Stacey And Mason LLP; the address for which is 35a High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HP. The SRA ID for this firm is 646544.
The genuine firms; Stacey And Mason LLP, John Welch & Stammers Solicitors and the genuine solicitor; Kery Joels have all confirmed that they are not connected to the matters referred to above or to ‘Witney & Mason Solicitors LLP’ 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.