Warning: Letter misusing the name of Thomas Whelan

28 July 2022

A letter has been sent falsely claiming to be from ‘Thomas Whelan’ in relation to a supposed unclaimed ‘permanent life insurance policy’.

What is the scam?

The SRA has been advised that a letter has been sent to a member of the public from an individual called ‘Tom Whelan’ or ‘Edward Holbrook’ claiming to be a Partner at ‘Whelan Associates’ in relation to a supposed unclaimed ‘permanent life insurance policy’ payment.

The letter provides a telephone number of ‘+44 745 229 7438’.

The letter misuses the name of a genuine solicitor and the address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below)

The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called ‘Whelan Associates’ and an email address of

Any business or transactions through ‘Whelan Associates’ or the telephone number ‘+44 745 229 7438’ are not undertaken by a solicitors' practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, the head office is at 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY.

The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Thomas Whelan who is a Partner at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, and who has an email address through the firm’s domain name.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP and Thomas Whelan have confirmed they do not have any connection to the alert 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.