Warning: Emails misusing the name of a partner of Mills & Reeve LLP
9 October 2020
Correspondence has been sent misusing the name of a partner of Mills & Reeve LLP, from an email address ending "consultant.com"
What is the scam?
We understand that emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from "Matthew Hansell" of Mills & Reeve LLP (see below in relation to the genuine firm and solicitor).
The email seen by the SRA contains a pdf letter that appears to have been sent from the email address "email@example.com" and claims that the recipient is the beneficiary of an unclaimed life insurance policy and that the proceeds of the policy be shared between the recipient and "Matthew Hansell".
The letter also lists two other false email addresses "firstname.lastname@example.org", and "email@example.com". The letter also incorrectly lists Mills & Reeve LLP’s registered office address as Chambers and Partners No. 3 Waterhouse Square, 1388 Holborn, London, EC1N 2SW. The letter also provides a false contact telephone number for "Matthew Hansell": +44 207 806 8315.
Any business or transactions through the email addresses, telephone number, or registered office address mentioned above 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 firm of solicitors called Mills & Reeve LLP. The genuine firm uses email addresses with the domain name "@mills-reeve.com".
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Matthew Hansell, who is a partner at Mills & Reeve LLP and whose genuine email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The genuine registered head office address of Mills & Reeve LLP is 24 King William Street, London, EC4R 9AT.
The genuine firm of Mills & Reeve LLP has confirmed that neither it nor the genuine solicitor Matthew Hansell have any intended 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.