Law Society warns profession and public to be on alert after Glasgow law firm targeted by fraudsters



Ian Messer

Scottish solicitors and members of the public are being warned to be on the alert for fraudulent law firms by the Law Society of Scotland.

Qualified solicitors are increasingly being targeted by fraudsters using their details on fake law firm websites.

The Law Society is asking its members to be vigilant and to take action if they find their own or colleagues’ names being listed on the website of a firm they do not work for and is advising members of the public to check the validity of solicitors on its website

Hughes Dowdall, a law firm in Glasgow, recently became subject to identity fraud when they found their details listed on a website for “Damian Alden Law Chambers”.

The fake firm claimed to have a business address in London and had copied names and photographs of genuine staff.

Michael Foster, senior partner at Hughes Dowdall, said: “I am very concerned about this hi-jacking of our website and our personnel and the potential for damage to our hard-won reputation.

“It’s horrifying to think an unsuspecting and entirely innocent member of the public could be conned and suffer loss as a result of this.”

Ian Messer, director of financial compliance at the Law Society, said: “We can confirm that Damian Alden Law Chambers is not a firm of Scottish solicitors and does not employ any members of the Law Society of Scotland.

“We have reported these instances to the authorities and are urging our members to be vigilant and to let us know if they find any illegitimate use of their details.

“We want members of the public to have complete confidence in seeking legal advice and services from solicitors.

“Every solicitor entitled to practice is registered with us and can be found on our website’s Find a Solicitor section.”

Mr Messer added: “We would advise anyone who suspects a scam solicitor to report them to the police immediately and get in touch with the Law Society so that we can bring it to the attention of the Police Scotland economic crime units.

“This will ensure the matter is investigated properly other potential victims of the scam will be protected.”

Members of the public seeking legal advice are being encouraged to look at the recently upgraded “Find a Solicitor” section on the Law Society’s website to check their credentials.

The information is updated regularly and only solicitors who are currently entitled to practice are listed.