Warning: Letters from "Lambeth Solicitors"
4 June 2020
A letter has been sent from "Lambeth Solicitors" in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that a member of the public has received a letter from an individual claiming to be a "Lawyer at Lambeth Solicitors". The letter relates to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance of an unknown individual. The last name of the deceased is tailored to match the last name of the recipient of the letter.
The letter provides a telephone contact number of "+44 208 638 5534", a fax number of "+44 207 022 8704" and email addresses of "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com". A postal address of "102 Acre Lane London SW9 8HL". The letter also features the postcode NP20 1TE which is the postcode of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The letter misuses the postcode for a genuine firm of solicitors and the name of a genuine solicitor (see below).
Any business or transactions through any of the contact details above are not undertaken by a firm or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA regulates and authorises a firm of solicitors called Barnes and Jones Limited which trades as Lambeth Solicitors. The SRA regulated and authorised a firm of solicitors called Lambeth Solicitors which was based at 102 Acre Lane Brixton London SW2 5QN. Lambeth Solicitors ceased trading on 31 March 2018 and is now the trading name of Barnes and Jones Limited.
The SRA regulates a genuine solicitor called Benjamin Abu who is the owner of Barnes and Jones Limited.
Harding Evans LLP is a genuine firm of solicitors which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The head office is based at Queens Chambers 2 North Street Newport NP20 1TE.
The genuine firms of Barnes and Jones Limited, Harding Evans LLP and the genuine solicitor Benjamin Abu have confirmed to the SRA that they have no connection to the matters 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.