Warning: Email misusing the name of Downie & Gadban and Simon Acworth

23 June 2023

An email has been sent misusing the name of Downie & Gadban in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.

What is the scam?

An email has been received by a member of the public from an individual called 'Simon Acworth' claiming to be 'Head of Wills and Probate' at 'Downie and Gadban Solicitors'. The email relates to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance from an individual that may be related to the recipient of the email.

The email was sent from '' and included the name and postal address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).

Any business or transaction through the email address '' is not undertaken by an individual or firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Downie & Gadban. The firm's head office address is 100 High Street Alton GU34 1ER. The firm's genuine email domain ends with

The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Simon Acworth who is a Partner at Downie & Gadban.

The genuine firm of Downie & Gadban and Simon Acworth do not have any connection with the email 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.