Warning: Emails misusing the name of Bevan Brittan LLP
14 January 2020
Emails have been sent misusing the names of Bevan Brittan LLP and one its partners Mark Paget Skelin in respect of an unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
Several members of the public have received emails falsely claiming to be from "Mark Paget Skelin" of Bevan Brittan LLP. Emails seen by the SRA refer to a purported unclaimed inheritance matters, where the recipient of the email is identified as a beneficiary of the estate of someone with the same surname as them.
The emails appear to have been sent from the following email addresses:
- email@example.com; and
Any business or transactions through the above email addresses are not undertaken by a solicitors' 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 law firm called Bevan Brittan LLP.
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Mark Paget Skelin who is a partner at the genuine firm of Bevan Brittan LLP. His genuine email address is Mark.PagetSkelin@bevanbrittan.com
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Lawrence Northmore-Ball, who works at a separate genuine firm of solicitors, and whose genuine email address is Lawrence.Northmore-Ball@carter-ruck.com
The genuine firm of Bevan Brittan LLP and the genuine solicitors Mark Paget Skelin and Lawrence Northmore-Ball have confirmed they are not connected 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.
Update - 17 January 2020
We have been informed of a further email address of firstname.lastname@example.org being used, in relation to similar messages warned of in the above alert.
Any business or transaction through the above email address is not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice authorised and regulated by the SRA, or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The genuine firm of Bevan Brittan LLP and the genuine solicitor Mark Paget Skelin have confirmed that they have no connection to these emails. As noted above, the genuine business email address for Mr Paget Skelin is Mark.PagetSkelin@bevanbrittan.com