Remember ACS:Law? It was the outfit which worked in the shadows of a moral grey-area, demanded preemptive settlements on filesharers who… may or may not have been sharing any files. It had received criticism for bully-boy tactics and intimidation.
ACS:Law has officially breached the solicitors code of conduct with the way it behaved, a judge ruled today. Andrew Crossley’s oufit would send letters in the post to people who may or may not have been file sharing and then do them over for a buck or ten.
It’s reported 27 users faced action from the firm.
But Judge Birss QC said that the method ACS:Law used to approach the alleged filesharers was “amteurish and slipshod” as well as bringing the “legal profession into disrepute,” as if that particular profession needed any help.
“ACS:Law’s conduct was chaotic and lamentable. Documents which plainly should have been provided were not provided. This was not the behaviour of a solicitor advancing a normal piece of litigation.”
Crossley may have to pay up to £100,000 in legal costs to cover the accused, though the Guardian reports a solicitor representing just five defendants reckons the tab is more like £90,000.
Crossley stopped the copyright campaign, acting on behalf of Media CAT, because of all the death threats he received.
Consumer watchdog Which? highlighted ACS:Law’s actions in a campaign to bring them to book, while the Pirate Party also spoke out. There’s also the small case of that data breach – when Anonymous decided the best course of action to take would be to bring ACS:Law to its knees, and accidentally leaked user data in its legion. The price to pay could be up to £500,000.