Warning: Email misusing the name Ashurst LLP
30 March 2021
As email has been sent misusing the name 'Ashurst LLP'
What is the scam?
An email has been sent falsely claiming to be from 'Devan NAIDO', principal Solicitor at 'Ashurst LLP'. The email seen by the SRA appears to be sent from the email address 'NaidooDn@eskom.co.za' requests the recipient to confirm that settlement fees are agreed as soon as possible and asking for replies to requisitions. It also gives the address of a foreign law practice in Australia (see below).
The SRA does not authorise and regulate a solicitor called Devan Naido.
The email has an attached pdf document called 'Sales Advice'. A concern is that the attachment contains malware.
Any business or transactions through the email address 'NaidooDn@eskom.co.za' 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 Ashurst LLP, whose head office is based in London.
The genuine Australian Partnership of Ashurst LLP is called Ashurst Australia, which is based at 11/5 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
The genuine firm of Solicitors Ashurst LLP has confirmed that neither it nor Ashurst Australia has no 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.