Warning: Email misusing the name "Michael Key"

7 August 2020

An email has been sent, falsely claiming to be from "Michael Key".

What is the scam?

The SRA has been informed that an email has been sent, falsely claiming to be from "Michael Key", a "British national and a corporate lawyer based in England (UK)" in relation to an 'opportunity to work together with the sender in a project of mutual interest'.

The email seen by the SRA appears to have been sent from the email address .

Any business or transactions through the email address "" are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice authorised and regulated by the SRA or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Michael Key who is a solicitor at a genuine firm of solicitors Expert Business Advisors Limited trading as Harper James Solicitors.  His genuine email address is

The genuine firm Harper James has confirmed that neither it nor the genuine solicitor Mr Michael Key is connected to the email referred to in the alert 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.