Professional practice updates 2013

Professional practice updates April 2013

Family law scam

The Society has been alerted to a family law scam which solicitors should be aware of. Via an email, the "client" claims to be the divorced or separated spouse of a person ("the other party") who owes money to the "client" in respect of maintenance etc., whether under the terms of an agreement or court order or otherwise.

The solicitor is instructed to recover from the other party, the monies which are due to the "client".

On receiving the demand for payment, the other party immediately makes payment to the solicitor by bank draft or cheque or other payment method direct to that solicitor. Once the solicitor accepts that payment into his or her client account then it is effectively laundered, whatever the original source of it might be. The solicitor then pays out the laundered money to the "client".

Alternatively the other party seeks details of the solicitor's bank account in order to "make a payment" direct to that bank account, and once the bank details are released, some illegal usage is made of them with a view to extracting money from them.

If you receive an email that makes you suspicious, you are advised to contact the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). If you wish to discuss matters with the Society's professional practice team, please call 0131 226 8896 or email profprac@lawscot.org.uk.