Rightful Claims/Worthington Clark is a legitimate business
New Zealand lawyers who have received inquiries from clients approached by the Australian company Worthington Clark Pty Ltd or its Rightful Claims division can be assured the business is long-established and genuine.
The increase in internet or email-related fraud has made lawyers and their clients increasingly cautious about approaches from hitherto-unknown people located outside New Zealand.
The Rightful Claims type of business is relatively unknown in New Zealand, but is well established in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Describing themselves as "asset recovery specialists", Rightful Claims employees identify assets such as shares, bank accounts, insurance policies and inheritances which are unclaimed.
After identifying the owner or presumed rightful owner, the company makes contact and offers to help claim and secure the asset. In return for a proportion of the asset value, the company acts through the whole claim process.
Lawyers who have contacted the New Zealand Law Society about Rightful Claims advise that the company does not disclose the value or nature of the asset to the presumed owner.
The Managing Director of Worthington Clark Pty Ltd, Richard Clark, says his company has been active in Australia for over 30 years. The Rightful Claims division is just a part of the business. He says Worthington Clark helps Australian lawyers, private and public trustees and executors to resolve genealogies for intestate estates.
"We undertake the sometimes complex process of identifying, locating and proving the entitlement of persons according to the relevant intestacy provisions of the jurisdiction. We also specialise in finding missing beneficiaries and other proof of kin and tracing kin matters that arise in the legal context, particularly in estate work," he says.
Mr Clark says the Rightful Claims division stems from the company's knowledge of unclaimed assets and their recovery process.
"We are able to research long lost or unclaimed property, identify the rightful claimants and provide a success based service to recover the benefits of the unclaimed property."