Warning issued over fake firm posing as Linklaters
23rd Mar 2017
A warning to the public has been issued by The Solicitors Regulation Authority to look out for messages from an organisation pretending to be associated with magic circle firm Linklaters.
The correspondence was allegedly sent from a Columbian company that erroneously described itself as an agent of the global firm.
It has been reported by the SRA that the firm behind the letters, ‘AP & Asociados’, is claiming to be the Columbian outfit, yet there has been no proof that an engineering business bearing that name is affiliated. The letters carried the Linklaters name in the header and footnotes list the firm as the abbreviation ‘AP & P LLP’.
The letters sent pertained to an alternative dispute resolution. Linklaters appeared in the email address and the firm claimed to be a representative of the company in the Caribbean and South America.
The genuine company, Linklaters LLP, has sent out a confirmation that it is not connected in any way with the fake firm, its correspondence or the email address used to send it, and the SRA have confirmed that they do not authorise or regulate any company named ‘AP & Asociados’.
People who have received these letters are advised to closely check their authenticity. They should use ‘reliable and established’ means to contact the law firm directly.
Reports about fraudulent law firms have doubled since 2012 and now number over 700 every year, as reported by the SRA’s annual risk outlook in 2016/7. Just under half of all fake law firms involve the copying of identities of existing law firms by criminals. The SRA have set up scam alerts in order to raise public awareness of the problem and to urge anyone with suspicions to report the correspondence concerned.