SRA issues warning after Simmons London corporate partner named in scam emails

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has issued a warning after scam emails were sent to members of the public claiming to be from Simmons & Simmons corporate partner David Parkes.

The emails claimed to relate to an unclaimed inheritance of a person whose name was tailored to match the recipient and came from ”David Parkes” of “Simmons & Simmons LLP”.

The email came from “davidiparkes@hotmail.com” and provided the genuine postal address, website address and SRA authorisation number for Simmons.

Parkes is an M&A partner in Simmons’ London office. He joined the firm in 2017 from the collapsed European arm of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), where he was  co-head of the consumer retail group .

Both Parkes and the firm have confirmed to the SRA that they have no connection to the emails.

A Simmons spokesperson said the firm was aware of the false communications and that it made the SRA aware of the issue.

They added: “Our message, as always, is if you have any concerns about the legitimacy of any communication purporting to be from Simmons & Simmons, please refrain from responding directly and contact us to confirm whether it is genuine.”

Hoax emails claiming to be from major law firms are infrequent, however the SRA issued a similar warning in April after emails were sent to members of the public claiming for be from “barrister Tim Ingham” of “Norton Rose Fulbright Law Firm”.

The emails claimed to relate to an inheritance or other payment following a supposed air crash involving a family member.

Recipients were asked to make contact with Ingham to provide information that would release the supposed inheritance. Timothy Ingham is a litigation and dispute resolution consultant based in Norton Rose’s London office, but he is not a barrister.

The SRA has advised anyone receiving emails claiming to be from a law firm or named individuals to conduct their own due diligence by contacting the firm in question.