Warning: Emails misusing the name of Nick Atkins of Hogan Lovells
8 December 2020
Emails misusing the names of Nick Atkins and Hogan Lovells, in relation to a supposed inheritance claim issue.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed about emails which claim that a client with the same surname as the recipient has passed away. The emails request that the recipient assist and "assent in declaring his estate".
The emails falsely purport to be from "Nick Atkins" of "Hogan Lovells LLP", misusing these names (see below for genuine details). The SRA understands that emails relating to this matter were all sent from email addresses that are not connected to the genuine firm or solicitor, including email addresses using the domain "@gmail.com’".
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Hogan Lovells International LLP, which trades as Hogan Lovells.
One of the partners in Hogan Lovells International LLP is a genuine solicitor called Nicholas (Nick) Atkins, whose genuine email address is email@example.com.
The genuine firm have confirmed that neither the firm nor their actual Nick Atkins have any genuine connection to the emails 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.