A legal recruitment consultancy has invented members of staff and provided them with fictional profiles and fake LinkedIn pages.

According to its website, Dawn Ellmore Employment comprises nine members of staff. However, RollOnFriday has discovered that two of them, recruitment consultants 'Josephine Allan' and 'Paul McDermott', do not really actually exist.


Meet the Team! And their imaginary friends! 

According to his staff profile, McDermott possesses "extensive knowledge" which "sets him apart from other recruiters". Stealing another man's face also sets him apart, because McDermott bears an uncanny resemblance to a receptionist who worked at the business for six months in 2014, Aaron Sims.


Allan is described as "going the extra mile" to find suitable candidates for law firms. However, she is also a stock photo available for sale on shutterstock.com. A source reports that she "doesn't and has never existed at this agency or in recruitment". When RollOnFriday attempted to contact Allan, a receptionist said, "She's not available at the moment", but that she would call back when she was free.

   Chinny beard

Both Allan and McDermott have LinkedIn profiles, where their histories begin and end with their positions at Dawn Ellmore Employment. Each has won a ringing endorsement from 'Henry D.', who is described on his own LinkedIn profile as an IP Consultant with Dawn Ellmore Employment and a Harvard graduate.

RollOnFriday informed the company of its findings and requested an explanation. Two days later, director Dawn Ellmore said, "This matter forms part of an investigation and legal steps we are undertaking following the departure of a former employee. While the investigation continues, we have suspended the 'Meet the Team' section of the website, and I'm afraid we are unable to comment".

RollOnFriday asked Ellmore if she was seriously suggesting that two of her nine staff had been invented and given company profiles, email addresses and telephone numbers without management's knowledge. She did not respond. Allan still hasn't called back, either.
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 26 February 16 00:37

I registered with this agency. I met Dawn and knew something wasn't right. This confirms it. Stay away!

Anonymous 26 February 16 10:06

Their reaction and investigation are the funniest things about this. I do have some sympathy for them! They overstated their capabilities/size, most companies do that to one extent or another, they just got named and shamed for it. No big deal though, not like fake profiles can hurt anyone!

Anonymous 26 February 16 10:26

A legal recruitment agency that is willing to do this kind of thing sends a clear message. I suspect that they will not have any clients later today.

Anonymous 26 February 16 11:05

It is no wonder the staff are departing! What an absolute sham of an agency. You really have let yourselves down.
I work for a fantastic legal recruitment agency and I hate to see these type of articles. I hope the REC takes appropriate steps. Back to work!

Anonymous 26 February 16 11:09

Gemma Copeland seems to be another mysterious 'employee' of Dawn Ellmore. What an odd approach!

Anonymous 26 February 16 11:44

What a shower of s**t. Absolutely no place for this sort of recruitment. Not sure how Dawn sleeps at night.

Anonymous 26 February 16 12:13

Oh dear...Honesty is the key word here.....they are not honest about their size, they are not honest about who they employ and that leads to question other aspects of their honesty especially as to why would you even need" Fake" employees if not to cover up for something else? ...so when the person who commented at 10.06 says no biggy about fake profiles...I would argue that it is a biggy as Dawn Ellmore have been shown to be completely dishonest at Director level and that attitude clearly filters down to all levels and I bet the Staff have no say in the matter!. Now they claim a disgruntled employee is to blame...really!!! ....more dishonesty me thinks!

Anonymous 26 February 16 13:49

Agencies often invent 'fake' recruiters to enable them to headhunt from their regular clients under a pseudonym, having a back-up and enabling them to say 'it wasn't my fault, my colleague did it, they don't understand the relationship we have, it won't happen again' in case they get found out. A lot worse goes on in recruitment agencies, this is just scratching the surface!

Anonymous 26 February 16 14:05

Well it seems the commenting legal recruiters are full of false indignation today. All recruiters lie, it is a massive part of their job. If you disagree post your comments with your name and company and I will unearth one lie and/or unethical act from you or your business. Anyone up for the challenge?

Anonymous 26 February 16 14:34

Who collected their salaries and commission cheques? I bet they didn't pitch 50 companies a day so how did HR deal with that?

Anonymous 26 February 16 14:49

I'm Head of Recruitment at a City law firm. I've never heard of this agency, but I'll speak/engage with anybody who understands the market, doesn't lie, doesn't act unethically and can find me good candidates. There are plenty of agencies out there which act ethically and provide a good service without lying, and I'm sick of people slagging off the whole industry based on the actions of the bottom feeders. You don't know what you're talking about.
Those below who sound bitter maybe aren't good enough to attract the attention of the good agents?

Anonymous 26 February 16 14:57

I am not sure what kind of company the anonymous user with sympathy works for. I have never worked for or heard of a company that has to invest members of staff to try and increase their standing. It's not as if they are a one man band. They are a decent size. Totally unnecessary lie. It's a bit sad really!!!

Roll On Friday 26 February 16 15:01

So pleaded this company has at last been 'outed' as the charlatans they really are. Makes you wonder about the toothless organisation REC is, who supposedly govern recruitment membership. An utter disgrace.

Anonymous 26 February 16 15:02

For me this company represents everything that is bad about and gives a bad name -to, Recruitment Agencies. There are agencies setup to considerately, attentively and mutually beneficially make connections between employer and employee, and then there are companies like this. Avoid.

Roll On Friday 26 February 16 15:21

Oh Please.... This is as common as anything else, lets see there are Law firms that have contract lawyers denoted as full time, there are recruiters that lie... Yes people lie and its not a good thing... But then I know recruitment firms that have MD's that state they were ex lawyers, and guess what they are not.... Nor did they ever get certified, yet they pretend to be.... Yet the SRA does nothing about it. We all know of many recruiters as bad as this and a lot worst.. The career of an individual is as fragile as a new born baby. You would not give your new born to a stranger, yet why put your career in the hands of one. Get to know them, can they help you ? Do they have a route to market for you? Do they have permission to introduce you ? Does the firm know who they are ? These are key questions... ask them.... and await the answer, better still let them put it in writing and see if they will...... A Recruiter is not measured on their qualifications, but on their knowledge... Their sector knowledge their ability to find a solution... The world is full of terrible MD's and lies.....

A recruiter ultimately has 1 goal, to make placements and make money... But there are the few recruiters out there that go the extra mile, they work for you, they get to know you, and give you advice, even if it is you are better with the devil you know. MD's that begins their careers with lies, create a bed of lies for the future and will make their employees disgruntled to the point where they reap what they sow.

Anonymous 26 February 16 16:33

Some of these comments re: recruiters is laughable. There are great recruiters and there are dodgy recruiters, there are honest lawyers and not so honest lawyers - get over it!

Anonymous 26 February 16 16:48

Think some people are missing the point ..THESE PEOPLE LIE..that means they are not worth dealing with either as a client or as a candidate...justify all you like guys...go to an Agent that actually exists and you stand a good chance of getting a good service but these guys blew it before they started as everything they are about is a lie.I guarantee that will be reflected in their service also as this comes from the top as does their company ethic

I know people need to make money but 99% manage to do it without having to be dishonest. No excuses

Anonymous 26 February 16 17:06

And only last week the SDT struck off a poor aspiring army solicitor for altering her 2.2 to a 2.1 AND SHE ADMITTED IT TO THE ARMY.

One reul for the profession and one for the recruiters

And what about the Employment agencies Inspectorate...do they know of this?

Are you RoF going to report this..I do hope so?

Mind you makes a change from all those fake jobs out there!

Roll On Friday 26 February 16 17:56

'They blew it before they started, because they started on a lie'....mmm interesting comment, lets analyse that... there are recruitment firms out there stating they are experts : experts ???? really... what makes them an expert ? There are others whose MD's pretend to be Lawyers ( Litigators) LOL.... They talk a good game, but eventually all is revealed.. What these guys did was wrong, but most recruiters are treading a similar line... People believe recruiters make fortunes... lets see, from the send CV to interview 1 2 & 3 then job offer, ( maybe negotiation ), then the usual 3 months 'gardening leave' factor in terms and conditions for payment. Recruiters can go 4 -5 months without reaching a penny for their work....And while all and all they are dealing with individuals that want immediate results, and egos and the never ending bureaucracy. And Why ????? The industry has altered from one of retained services to contingency led approach.. Due to over important self ego driven HR bureaucrats that believe recruitment is easy, and not an art combining psychology, knowledge of firms, culture, and the LAW.... ..... Maybe just maybe the industry would not be going down this route, if firms and individuals respected the recruiter, the dirty, written scum of life. For they work for free on the premise they have your trust and your good will.... It is and always will be a two way street, respect those that are working to make a living in helping you achieve your dreams

Roll On Friday 26 February 16 18:26

It is a big deal if true and the fact they seem to be trying to blame the whistleblower is even worse, if true - it would be defamatory.

Apart from anything else it might well be a criminal offence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 if the advertising is misleading potential employees.

Anonymous 26 February 16 21:05

I'm in the patent and trade mark profession and this recruitment firm is very well known. This will not do their business any good (surprise surprise). I'm connected on LinkedIn to both "Paul" and "Josephine" and they have both messaged me offering me positions. I've wasted time replying to fictional characters about no doubt fictional jobs.

Dawn Ellmore herself must be complicit in this. There is absolutely no other explanation. Dawn is connected to both Paul and Josephine on LinkedIn, and therefore must have either initiated or accepted the invite, in respect of fictional characters she knows she doesn't employ. Don't try and pass the buck. Admit what you did was wrong and apologise.

An absolute disgrace.

Anonymous 28 February 16 14:48

Another article on the matter! It's good to see it's getting out there to make people aware of this agency..


Anonymous 28 February 16 17:56

I work in recruitment, is what they have done wrong,absolutely. Why has it happened, because of a gross lack of judgement when you become obsessed with image over substance. Recruitment is a people business yet many recruiters never meet candidates and poor recruitment by law firms where they recruit brands of candidates rather than real people only adds to the mayhem and the poor performance of their businesses. Throw in the fact that with online applications any consultancy doing their job properly cant help 95% of candidates that approach them and you get these trolls online here.The majority of recruitment consultants do care,slog away in a tough business and get slated on both sides only by those who don't want to listen to why they cant assist them. There is a constant stream of fake candidates and the majority of small law practices 'big themselves up' by profiling everyone from the temporary office assistant (who's really an unpaid intern) upwards .However if true DE has crossed a line...... what were you thinking DE ?

Anonymous 29 February 16 13:21

anon @ 28/02/2016 17:56

'There is a constant stream of fake candidates...' - I'm guessing these fake candidates originate from other recruitment firms trying steal business!

Anonymous 29 February 16 15:09

I said it earlier and after reading the comments my mind hasn't been changed - this doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Anyone who engaged with the fake profiles on linkedin would have done so as they were interested in finding a new job. Either they got no response at all (thus enabling to use one of the many agencies that are clearly paragons of virtue) or the person who set up the profile would have picked things up. Whilst it is strange they feel they needed to do this I can't see why it is so upsetting for people. Has this actually coursed a problem for anyone? Has anyone lost anything? How might someone be adversely affected by this practice?

Anonymous 29 February 16 15:54

Anon @ 15:09

Perhaps no one has sustained a loss as a result of this behaviour, but I would find it difficult to trust an organisation which had intentionally misrepresented itself in this way.

Just in case you are actually trolling - good work.

Anonymous 29 February 16 18:05

So no big deal then. I don't work in recruitment and have never used agencies. The whole thing (the company's conduct and upset comments) just seems strange to me.

Anonymous 01 March 16 10:15

Laughing at anonymous user 29/02/2016 15:09

That simply has to be somebody who works at Dawn Ellmore to have that response! Nobody can actually think that it is ok for this sort of behaviour.

People like this give recruitment a bad name.... Unbelievable she hasn't felt the need to respond to ROF with an an apology but clearly isn't bothered that she has been caught.

Anonymous 01 March 16 12:35

Bringing laughter to someones day is my goal in life :)
Didn't say it was ok, I just didn't understand why people were so upset about this. People seem to be over egging the pudding with their disdain. I get it, they lied, that is not good. However, no one has lost anything so comments like "how does she sleep at night" just seem like sanctimonious codswallop! Anyway, what do I know!

Anonymous 03 March 16 10:41

So the owner said "we have suspended the 'Meet the Team' section of the website"

Didn't take her long to go back to her old ways then!!


Anonymous 01 April 16 17:42

What is all this apologist talk of someone "having made a mistake"? It's precisely the same "we made a mistake" language that we heard many a time and oft when MPs were having their dodgy expenses scrutinised a few years ago. No one made a mistake here- this was deliberate falsification.

Anonymous 22 September 16 16:41

OMG!!!!! At it again, no shame!

Anonymous 23 December 16 15:33

Everyone I've met who works in recruitment is either creepy or has a fake/ annoying confidence. If your job is split between having to stalk people on Linkedin and emailing bits of paper for a living it is clear this can only have a negative long-term impact on anyone's mental health. If recruitment managers / HR at law firms had even an ounce of ability, virtually no firm's would have to use agencies these days because of the advances in technology but, bizarrely they still have to. I work in-house now at a tech company and their agency use is down from over 70% of total hires in 2009 to about 4% now (whilst still growing). Law firms themselves need to sharpen up, pronto.