Warning: Identity documents being certified misusing the name of 'Rachel Giddings of Stone & Stone Solicitors LLP'

10 June 2021

Identity and address documents have been certified misusing the name of "Rachel Giddings of Stone & Stone Solicitors LLP".

What is the scam?

The SRA has been notified that a financial institution received credit card applications where identity and address documents were falsely certified misusing the name of Rachel Giddings and 'stamped' using a stamp bearing the name of 'Stone & Stone Solicitors LLP'.

The date on the documents showed them as being 'certified' after the firm had already closed.

The signature on the documents is not the genuine signature of a genuine solicitor called Rachel Giddings and the stamp is not the genuine stamp of the former firm.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA formerly authorised and regulated a genuine firm of solicitors called Stone & Stone Solicitors LLP. This firm closed on 30 June 2020.

The SRA regulates a genuine solicitor called Rachel Giddings.  The genuine Rachel Giddings has confirmed that she is not connected to the 'stamp' or certification of documents referred to above.

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.