New Legal Ombudsman receives first complaints – about Gallant Macmillan

As the new Legal Ombudsman opened the gates today at 8:30AM, one of the very first complaints was against Gallant Macmillan, the London law firm capitalising on ACS:Law’s dubious legacy.

Gallant Macmillan has been sending out letters on behalf of the Ministry of Sound to people who may or may not have been downloading MoS copyrighted music. The firm offers payment in the form of a “settlement” as a rosy alternative to court.

But the method it has been using can in no way reliably identify individuals based on IP addresses and many have received letters that have nothing to do with them. Lord Lucas in the House of Lords, 26 January 2010, called Gallant Macmillan’s practices “straightforward legal blackmail”.

The complaint was filed by veteran IT consultant Marcus Williamson who claims he has approached Gallant Macmillan, repeatedly, for details of the legal basis of its practices. He’s been trying to get in touch with Simon Gallant and, he says, been duly ignored the whole time.

“I see this kind of activity as the greatest legal threat to the integrity of the internet since it was created,” he said.