Warning: Stamped document misusing the name of Barwells Legal Limited

2 July 2024

A stamped document purporting to be an 'Identification form' has misused the name of Barwells Solicitors, a trading name of Barwells Legal Limited.

What is the scam?

A 'Proof of Identification Form' has been provided, in relation to an inheritance matter, that falsely claims that a copy passport has been verified as a true copy by 'Sophie Maloney' claiming to be a solicitor of 'Barwells Solicitors' (see below in relation to a genuine firm and individual). 

The stamped document misuses a trading name of a genuine firm of solicitors and a genuine individual at the firm (see below). A telephone contact number of '07821379999' was provided as a supposed contact number on the document.

Any document, business or transaction using the number '07821379999' is not provided or undertaken by a firm or individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.  

The document seen by the SRA also carries a bogus 'stamp' that misuses the name of the genuine firm, with the name on the bogus stamp split across two lines (see below). 

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Barwells Legal Limited, which trades as Barwells Solicitors and as Barwells. The firm is authorised as a licensed body. 

The genuine firm has a director called Sophie Maloney, who is a legal executive.

The genuine firm of Barwells Legal Limited has confirmed that their genuine ‘stamp’ has the word Barwell in one line (not two) and that neither the firm or their genuine Sophie Maloney has any genuine connection to the stamp or document 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.