Warning: Emails misusing the name Holman Fenwick Willan LLP (HFW)
18 February 2021
Emails have been sent misusing the name Philip Carney of Holman Fenwick Willan International LLP in Piraeus, Greece.
What is the scam?
We understand that emails have been sent to a client in Dubai and insurance and broking companies in the UK claiming to be from "Philip Carney" of Holman Fenwick Willan International LLP (see below in relation to the genuine firm and solicitor).
The email seen by the SRA appears to have been sent from the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" and makes reference to attached "owners’ debit notes" and a request for payment.
The telephone numbers quoted in the emails of +30 210 429 3978 and +30 6939 689 954 are the genuine telephone numbers for the genuine Philip Carney.
Any business or transactions through the email address "email@example.com" 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 Holman Fenwick Willan International LLP with a branch office based in Greece (see full name below).
The genuine firm and its group members use email addresses that end with the domain name "@hfw.com".
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Philip Carney, who was an Associate at Holman Fenwick Willan International LLP until 31 December 2020 and is now an associate in its successor firm, Holman Fenwick Willan International, Vassos, Exarchou & Partners Law Firm. His genuine email address is "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The genuine firm of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, based in London, has confirmed that neither Holman Fenwick Willan International LLP nor the genuine solicitor, Philip Carney, have any 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.