Warning: Letter misusing the name of Ashford LLP
17 November 2023
A letter has falsely claimed to be from Ashford LLP, in relation to an outstanding payment.
What is the scam?
A letter has been sent claiming to be from an individual called 'Joanne Say' of 'Ashford LLP'. The letter states that the amount of £8,500 is payable and asks the recipient to make the payment immediately.
The letter provides an email address of 'Joannesay@ashfords.co.uk' and a telephone numbers '+44(0) 0117 32 8000'. It also claims to provide details of the firm's bank account.
The letter misuses the name, address and telephone number of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
Any business or transaction being carried out through the email 'Joannesay@ashfords.co.uk' or the telephone number '+44(0) 0117 32 8000'are not undertaken by a firm or 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 Ashfords LLP. The firm has a branch office at Tower Wharf Cheese Lane Bristol BS2 0JJ. The telephone number is 0117 321 8000. The firm email domains end with @ashfords.co.uk.
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Joanne Saye who was recently employed at Ashfords LLP.
The genuine firm Ashfords LLP has confirmed they do not have any genuine connection to the letter referred to in the above alert. The genuine solicitor Joanne Saye has also confirmed that she has no genuine connection with the letter 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.