Rob Hailstone of the Bold Group has warned his members of a potential problem that could damage the brand of any solicitor. He says “Last Friday the SRA issued the following Scam alert:
Warning: Humphries Kirk LLP
The SRA has received information that a number of fraudulent solicitors’ firms appear on the website http://www.solicitors-barristers.co.uk/dorset/poole
. The names of former partners and members of staff of Trevanions, a genuine law firm which merged with the firm of Humphries Kirk LLP, are being used in connection with the fraudulent firms.
The firms which appear on the website are A M Marrow Solicitors, C J Brown Solicitors, H Durant Solicitors, J Patchett Solicitors, M Baker Solicitors and M E Marrow Solicitors. The contact details for the fraudulent firms are shown on the website as 15 Church Road, Poole, Dorset, BH14 8UF, with the telephone and fax number 01202 715815.Any business or transactions through these firms are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
To read the full SRA alert follow, this link:
He continued saying “On investigation of the website in question it is obvious that many more of the law firm listings were either fraudulent or inaccurate. I therefore warned my members immediately about the potential danger of their brands being associated with a site that has a lot of misleading information on it.”
Rob received a number of email responses from Bold Group members, including:
“The website is not up to date as it has our old office details and we moved in 2010!”
“Just a cursory look at the listings for Wolverhampton reveals at least 2 firms that no longer exist. Bayliss & Amos and Hall Pratt and Pritchard ceased trading some time ago and I don’t know why we are listed we didn’t apply or register.”
“I can tell you that there are a number of “firms” for Warwickshire on that site which are the names of partners or former partners of firms (some now dead!) but with addresses relating to other firms, or their previous premises.”
“I looked at the solicitors/barristers website. Under my firm’s name, they have the details of a branch which closed six years or more go but no mention of the real office. I wonder where there are getting such out of date information.”
Rob stated “The site says it is owned and operated by CliqTo Ltd, 1 Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury, SY3 7FA. There is no phone number and the only way of making contact appears to be by email, or a personal visit.”
He continued saying “I think the SRA may have only scratched the surface with regards to the problems with this site. If I was still in practice and my firm was listed, I would be demanding that my firms name should be removed immediately, whether or not the details being published were correct. I have prepared a template letter that I will suggest my members send out forthwith and if suitable responses are not received within the course of this week I will personally visit the premises of CliqTo Ltd to see if I can confront the owner or owners. This site is not only a danger to law firms but also to members of the public.”
If you would like further information about this issue or the Bold Group email Rob Hailstone, [email protected]