London law firm pledges to continue targeting file-sharers

A firm of London solicitors has said the controversy surrounding ACS:Law will not stop it from targeting those accused of file-sharing.

Gallant Macmillan told the BBC it still planned to go to the High Court on 4 October to seek the personal details of hundreds of PlusNet users.

Simon Gallant told BBC News that he had “no problem” pursuing legal claims.

The comments came after thousands of customer details were leaked online after a security breach at ACS:Law, with ISPs pledging to take a tougher stand with law firms pursuing ‘anti-piracy’ claims.

Gallant Macmillan is reported to be seeking a court order from BT subsidiary PlusNet to get it to hand over the personal details of a “large number” of broadband users that it suspects of illegally downloading and sharing music from the record label Ministry of Sound.

The hearing is due to be heard before Chief Master Winegarten at the High Court.

According to the BBC, Gallant Macmillan sends out letters to users suspected of illegal file sharing – a method similar to that used by ACS:Law.

The letter asks for “compensation and costs” of £350 and asks the recipient to sign an undertaking not to do it again.

BT confirmed yesterday that it sent customer details to ACS:Law in unencrypted Exel spreadsheets as email attachments.

A PlusNet spokesperson told BBC News that ACS:Law’s actions had “undermined the current legal process”.

They added: “It’s in everyone’s interests to restore confidence in this process so that broadband users are safeguarded and we are determined to do this.

“We are actively reviewing our approach to these disclosure requests to achieve this objective and this will inform our approach to Monday’s hearing”.

Mr Gallant told the BBC that, as far as he was concerned, “nothing has changed” and the company was proceeding with the application and hoped to obtain a list of customers suspected of illegal file sharing.

He said: “I am aware this type of work is contentious and we have done a great deal of due diligence and are aware of all the concerns people have raised.

“Providing a rights holder can prove to me that they have a valid legal claim, why should I – as a solicitor – have any problem representing them?”

TechEye tried to contact Mr Gallant today but we were told he was too busy to take our call.