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ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley declared BANKRUPT – Davenport Lyons SDT hearing – Update 1

June 8, 2011 3 comments

Andrew Crossley the Sole Trader of ACS:LAW has been declared bankrupt.  After a near two year campaign falsely accusing members of the general public and having been lambasted by the House of Lords, the Main Stream Media and the Courts, and after he as a last gasp to claw more money attempted to launch a satellite company GCB LTD, he has now faced his financial ruin…. Or has he?

Although he has been declared officially bankrupt it seems he has lost none of his trappings of status.  Of course as a bankrupt he can no longer practice as a Solicitor save with exception from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), that seems unlikely as he is also facing his THIRD appearance before the SRAs Disciplinary Tribunal

As can be seen from the official notice however,  the bankruptcy was petitioned for on the 22nd December 2010 by the HM Revenue & Customs.  The letter sent from ACS:LAW regarding the handover of cases to GCB LTD (Which turned out to be run by ACS:LAW Employees) was dated 13th December 2010, draw from the timing what you will….

As  write this I am awaiting the end of the Discliplinary Tribunal Hearing into Davenport  Lyons the forerunner of ACS:LAWs business model… I will update later

UPDATE 1: The rather excellent Dina Greek who attended the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) Hearing today has said that the SDT has upheld ALL allegations against the Davenport Two, Dave Gore and Brian Miller.  Their should be a write up in Computeractive Tomorrow.

The SRA had accused the two of “Knowingly targetted innocent web users without evidence” It remains to be seen however why the SRA took so long to take action against ACS:LAW who they knew were running an identical operation.

But for many of us, we have finally seen some sort of Justice done.

Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW together at last (almost) at the Disciplinary Tribunal

June 4, 2011 3 comments

In a strange quirk of irony, the two biggest exponents of the “Speculative Invoicing” litigation, were in the same building, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Davenport Lyons were their in the middle of their SEVEN days of hearings, and ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley was there for a “Directions hearing”

It transpires that Andrew Crossley had requested a number of big asks of the Tribunal.  A post from Will Gilmour who spent the day there states

It transpires that the application for directions was actually brought by him (rather than the SRA – the porsecution). He had a number of requests which he wanted the court to order. They were:
  1. He wanted SRA to fund his costs (as he’s lacking finance and was afraid he’d suffer an ‘inequality of arms’ against the SRA’s budget for his prosecution apparently set at £85k)
  2. He wanted to exclude all expert evidence, again on the grounds of expense
  3. He wanted an order to prevent the SRA making any further requests for disclosure of documents from him
  4. He wanted copies of all of the files concerned with the current Davenport Lyons (Gore / Miller) tribunal and…
  5. …a delay on proceedings on his case at least until the DL tribunal is concluded.

Wills post continues

As to the outcomes of Crossley’s five applications for directions: every single one was refused. No SRA funding, no exclusion of expert testimony, the SRA are free to request disclosure of further documents from him, he can’t have the Gore/Miller documents and there can be no unwarranted delay just because the Gore/Miller case is ongoing.

I would urge all my readers to go and view his EXCELLENT post on this whole subject.  It covers concerns over the “Expert” Testimony of the defence and prosecution teams and casts a dim view over the ability of the SDT to actually regulate Solicitors.  I am sure those of you who read the post will be quite astonished at the naivity of these people.

Will Gilmours Twitter feed is @will_gilmour go join his feed, I am sure he will be there again Monday!

Fobbed off by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – Incompetence abounds

May 29, 2011 4 comments

I sent the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) an email regarding their investigation into the ACS:LAW Data Leak.

The email contained a few simple questions.

1: Why is ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley  still registered at 20 Hanover Sq London as a Data Controller.

2: Do you think it is appropriate to offer Mr Crossley a 20% for early payment of his fine?

3: Do you think that Mr Crossley may have been in a better position to pay his fine had the ICO not taken so long to conclude it’s investigation?

The reply I got from the ICO after 14 days was this.

 

An obvious template response, I even got the ICO’s ACS:LAW FACT SHEET. And (wait for it) How to get compensation from ACS:LAW!!! (See Below)

Well of course my thinking was that if the ICO thought that it was only worth under 20p for everyone who has had their details leaked then imagine the Compo I would get from ACS:LAW I mean I might even get a penny a WHOLE Penny.  Wow well it truly has got me thinking until of course I realised that even the cheapest postal stamp (36p) would be many times my compensation, and incidentally more than the ICO fined ACS:LAW per individual. 

There has been talk by Christopher Graham the head of the ICO that he would have liked to have fined ACS:LAW £200,000 but of course that was proven to be merely a dose of hot air. (See question 2)

Mr Graham in fact has been in the news a few times since regarding other “Data protection issues” and again appears to be a mighty knight roaring about the rights and wrongs of the issue and how people should protect data, but he wields a foam sword.1 2

Maybe it is not his fault, maybe the ICO is handcuffed by legislation as Mr Graham seems to believe.  One thing is sure, I and many others have been through too much disruption in our lives to leave this alone now, we have invested the most precious of commodities know to humans, that of TIME, we did not ask Mr Crossley and his ACS:LAW “clown asses” to invade our lives with their preposterous allegations. 

A investigation into ACS:LAW by PCPRO this week was revealing and showed how Andrew Crossley had shown the ICO to be mugs.  An ICO spokesperson had told ZDNET “The £1,000 reflects his financial condition. He did drive a Bentley at one point, but he doesn’t now.” Well guess what PCPRO saw when they turned up at Crossley house? The Bentley still on his drive.

We are now over two years into this now and those accused by Davenport Lyons into their third year.  This whole situation has been a travesty of Justice, where the bad guys have been allowed to accuse thousands, leak their details and remain in a good position when they should be skulking back to the rock they crawled from.

There is still light though, on Tuesday this week (31st May) Dave Gore and Brian Miller the two Solicitors accused by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA) will stand before their Disciplinary board (SDT) to answer for their actions in pursuing people they KNEW to be innocent.  Andrew Crossleys date is also coming soon.  There is real hope that partial justice may be done to these people.

It remains to be seen wether the SRA will act in a proper way and not in the way that the ICO has acted like a “Toothless  Tiger”

 

“Millionaire” Andrew Crossley escapes ICO fine as he is “Poor” UPDATE 3

May 10, 2011 5 comments

When the ACS:LAW scandal broke, the lives of thousands of people were turned upside down, up until that point people had been upset with letters threatening to take them to court for fictitious file sharing,

But September last year things turned even more bizarre as ACS:LAW released an archive of their emails online.  This date breach exposed up to 10,000 peoples names addresses and credit card details alongside their names being linked with vile pornographic material.

On the 28th September the ICOs head Christopher Graham was salivating over the issue saying

I can’t put ACS: Law out of business, but a company that is hit by a fine of up to half a million pounds suffers real reputation damage.”

Indeed the ICO had been given powers to fine companies £500,000, they messed up with the BT data breach because they said that It was an individual at fault and NOT BT, Hmmmmm. Things did not bode well for the ACS:LAW investigation.

The ICO decided the case against ACS:LAW stating:

“The security measures ACS Law had in place were barely fit for purpose in a person’s home environment, let alone a business handling such sensitive details.”

Wow powerful stuff right?

The ICO went on 

“As Mr Crossley was a sole trader it falls on the individual to pay the fine. Were it not for the fact that ACS Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed, given the severity of the breach. Penalties are a tool for achieving compliance with the law and, as set out in our criteria, we take people’s circumstances and their ability to pay into account.”

SAY WHAT????

“Were it not for the fact that ACS Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed”

Hmmm so Crossley gets to CLOSE his company the very action which brought derision from Judge Birss along with many man people who had been affected by his nasty letters, and he gets off with a grand to pay becuase of this deception?

The ICO goes on to say:

The ICO’s investigation found serious flaws in ACS Law’s IT security system. Mr Crossley did not seek professional advice when setting up and  developing the IT system which did not include basic elements such as a firewall and access control. In addition ACS Law’s web-hosting package was only intended for domestic use. Mr Crossley had received no assurances from the web-host that information would be kept secure.

While the firm should have been aware of their obligations under the Data Protection Act, they continued to act negligently and failed to ensure that appropriate technical and organisational measures were in place to keep personal information secure.

This is worse than outrageous, as ACS:LAW actually used the fact that people had not secured their home systems and used the fact against them.  They did not care if an elderly person had not secured their router or modem or their computer, it was the persons fault and they were held to account for being negligent by ACS:LAW.

Andrew Crossley must be laughing at this and the rest of us now.  A measly £1000 penalty for a man who bragged of making over £1,500,000 in a year, and who lavished expensive cars on himself and his girlfriend, this is a joke.  A man who lives in a 7 bedroom house worth nearly a million pound yet he pleads poverty? The ICO has let us all down. They are unfit for purpose.

Indeed £1000 is less than the price of just two of his letters that he sent out to the general public.

The interview with Christopher Graham can be seen here, please don’t hold a hot drink whilst watching the sheer disconnect between the interview and the reality might just choke you.

http://youtu.be/B7JdiS0Gw0Y

An excellent post on this subject can be found here

UPDATE: To add insult to injury it is revealed that IF Andrew Crossley pay his “Penalty” by June 6th 2011, he will receive an “Early pay Bonus” of 20% meaning he will only have to pay £800.

UPDATE 2 :See below for the ICO Ruling

UPDATE 3: For those of you who wish to comlain about this ruling

To Complain to the ICO themselves: http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/satisfied_with_our_service/complaints_and_compliments.aspx

To write to your MP: http://www.writetothem.com/

ACS:LAW and Andrew Crossley face HUGE costs for being “Chaotic and Lamentable”

April 19, 2011 5 comments

Yesterday at the Patents Court Judge Birss gave ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley such a kick up his ample backside that the ripples will be felt throughout the Legal Profession.

In one of the final hearings into the Court Cases that ACS:LAW were due to bring against 27 alleged infringers (Read Innocent people) the Judge has turned his attention to Wasted Costs, ie ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley wasting everyone’s time with his ridiculous Business Plan of targeting innocent people for alleged filesharing

I have covered the previous parts of this case on my Blog and it has also been reported rather nicely on the Torrent Freak Website.

Some stand out moments from yesterday include, comments from Judge Birss

Agreements between ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T) In my judgment there is an apparently strong prima facie case that the Basic Agreements are improper and champertous

Assuming Mr Crossley has indeed made a loss so far (and I am not satisfied I have the whole picture relating to the finances of this exercise in any event) it does not alter the fact that the Basic Agreements are improper and unreasonable.

Mr Tritton (Ralli Barrister) submitted that the Basic Agreements were negligently drafted by ACS:Law and the negligence was not merely an unintended act of incompetence but was done for ACS:Law’s benefit

In my judgment the drafting of operative clause 1.1.1 in the Basic Agreements was prima facie negligent. Mr Parker(ACS:LAW Barrister) did not advance a case to deny that, he submitted there was no evidence Mr Crossley was responsible for the drafting of the Basic Agreements. I have already dealt with that above. Mr Crossley was plainly responsible.

 (NPO Applications)This is yet another example of conduct by ACS:Law which, at best, can be described as amateurish and slipshod.

(On reports that SHOULD have been sent to ISPs) I will hear counsel as to whether I should direct ACS:Law and/or Media CAT to provide the report to the court and the defendants’ solicitors or explain why there is no report to provide.

In summary, consideration of the Norwich Pharmacal orders in this case reveals, prima facie, a series of errors and questionable conduct by ACS:Law….

 (On the letter of claim) In my judgment the letter is plainly negligent and may well be improper.

 (Negligent Correspondance) 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.

( GCB Debacle) I have already found the GCB episode shows that ACS:Law knew perfectly well that Media CAT intended the letter writing campaign to be pressed ahead with despite the court being told that the Notices of Discontinuance were being used in order for the claimant to give the matter further consideration. That finding provides further support for my finding that there is a prima facie case of unreasonable conduct by ACS:Law in relation to the Notices.

In my judgment the combination of Mr Crossley’s revenue sharing arrangements and his service of the Notices of Discontinuance serves to illustrate the dangers of such a revenue sharing arrangement and has, prima facie, brought the legal profession into disrepute

 (Crossley 3rd Witness Statement) In his third witness statement Mr Crossley set out draft accounts and in paragraph 7 he summarised his position. He stated that the business model has been neither profitable nor rewarding for him in any way at all, and that neither himself nor ACS:Law solicitors have funded these proceedings and have not benefited from them. He said the control which ACS:Law has had over these proceedings is only to the extent that any litigation solicitor would have over his litigation client’s affairs and no more. He continued “By contrast both the claimant and the various copyright owners that it was representing received considerable income from the business model without any cost to them.”

There is a good arguable case that ACS:Law / Mr Crossley will be liable for the costs of this case and I will add ACS:Law / Mr Crossley as a party to this action for that purpose.

Barrister Guy Tritton is already on record describing the ACS Law case as the “most appalling case” he’d seen in his career, stressing it was a unique incident.

The FULL hearing can be viewed here.  Same rules apply do NOT consume a hot drink while reading.

The Court hearing will be reconvened on the 17th June just two weeks AFTER the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal meets to decide what THEY are going to do with Andrew Crossley

In Crossleys own words “Exciting times”

ACS:LAW – A Brief History of Speculative Invoicing

February 13, 2011 6 comments

The hearing regarding ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T has now been well covered.  My own personal favourite moments from Judge Birss  are at the foot of this article.

The reason for this post though is that it seems we have forgotten those OTHER people involved with all this over the last THREE years now.

I would like to show those who are only just reading up about all this, the bigger picture.

Davenport Lyons were the original Law firm (2007), who gave over a lot of their material and clients, to ACS:LAW (May 2009) including a number of the paralegals,  amongst them Terence Tsang.  Davenport Lyons were investigated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and referred  to the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal) [2] [3]

ACS:LAW represented Games, Music and Pornographic films, and started sending letters out  “en masse”

Tilly Bailey Irvine were up next (January 2010) and for a few months sent out letters defending Pornographic films, Although the films were legal in the sense they were certificated, the actual names of these films were VERY provocative and one could only imagine the distress caused to the Wife or indeed Husband who opened one of those letters.

Tilly Bailey Irvine withdrew citing “Adverse publicity” (April 2010) [2] not before being condemned in the House of Lords as “Latest entrants to the hall of infamy” and “An embarrassment to the creative industries” and also being accused by Wikipedia of “Vandalising” their entry.

In a wider attack by the Lords during the Digital Economy Bill, the actions of these “Piracy Chasers” was condemned as “Blackmail and a Scam”

Gallant Macmillan entered the fray defending The Ministry of Sound in July 2010With the online community outraged at yet another “Speculative invoice” entering the scene, letters started being sent to the Chief Master who issued the NPO’s that forced ISP’s to hand over details of their subscribers.

The “Anonymous DDos attacks on ACS:LAW brought down their website in September 2010 and then ACS:LAW accidently released a HUGE email archive online which was quickly snatched and posted to torrent sites, The contents of the emails were explosive.

The huge data leak gave added impetus to the Courts handing out the NPOs and a hearing was adjourned [2].  When it was reconvened BT/Plusnet refused to hand over their subscribers data and then it was learnt that BT had destroyed the records it held for Gallant Macmillan.  Gallant Macmilan were subject to DDos attacks.

Gallant Macmillan withdrew after BT destroyed the data they requested after a delay in obtaining a “norwich pharmacal” order, they deemed they could not make enough money out of the scheme to make it worth their while.

ACS:LAW just kept ploughing on though, using Logistep first as a “Data monitor” then Digiprotect, and then an obscure firm called NG3Systems.

After the DDos attack that destroyed their web presence it was thought that that would be the end of them.  They continued issuing letters however with  Media C.A.T who represented Pornographers Sheptonhurst amongst others.  ACS:LAW were investigated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and referred  to the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal)

Forced into a corner of ”put up or shut up” after claims he would never take a case to court, Crossley attempted a Court hearing against some recipients who had NOT responded, what is known as a “Default Judgement” It failed on an epic scale.

Some of those accused actually sent in a response and a defence and the hearing ended in disarray as the Judge ordered a search for all other cases on the Court system. He found 27 of them and arranged for a Court hearing to work out what direction should be taken.

With the Community totally focused against them and watching every move they made, it became clear that  ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T were desperate, to drop all the cases. The Judge refused adjourned the hearing and set a new date for January 2011 [2]

A new letter went out from a company called GCB Ltd, the community smelt a rat and rightly so. According to the Judge it was an attempt by Crossley and Bowden to get the last bits of money they could.

For the rest read the judgment online.  My favourite parts are below, and show what we knew all along, it was a Scam of epic proportions.

Media CAT and ACS:Law have a very real interest in avoiding public scrutiny of the cause of action because in parallel to the 26 court cases, a wholesale letter writing campaign is being conducted from which revenues are being generated. This letter writing exercise is founded on the threat of legal proceedings such as the claims before this court.

The information annexed to Mr Batstone’s letter refers to ACS:Law having “recovered” £1 Million. Whether that was right and even if so whether it was solely in relation to Media CAT or other file sharing cases I do not know. Simple arithmetic shows that the sums involved in the Media CAT exercise must be considerable. 10,000 letters for Media CAT claiming £495 each would still generate about £1 Million if 80% of the recipients refused to pay and only the 20% remainder did so. Note that ACS:Law’s interest is specifically mentioned in the previous paragraph because of course they receive 65% of the revenues from the letter writing exercise. In fact Media CAT’s financial interest is actually much less than that of ACS:Law. Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court. Why take cases to court and test the assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a proportion of the recipients?

Friday 09 April 2010 by Andrew J Crossley (My clients are pleased with the service I provide. I have conducted file sharing-related work for 11 months; to date I have recovered close to £1m for my clients.)

The GCB episode is damning in my judgment. This shows that Media CAT is a party who, while coming to court to discontinue, is at the very same time trying to ram home claims formulated on exactly the same basis away from the gaze of the court. That will not do. I find that these notices of discontinuance are indeed an abuse of the court’s process. The advantage of discontinuing as opposed to applying to amend is unwarranted in that it avoids judicial scrutiny of the underlying basis for wider campaign orchestrated by Media CAT and ACS:Law to generate revenue under the various agreements such as the Sheptonhurst agreement.

 One might think a claimant (and their legal adviser) who was giving their claim serious further consideration before perhaps starting it afresh in a different form or dropping it altogether, would certainly not assert the very same claim against other people not (yet) before the court. The GCB episode shows that Mr Crossley’s client had every intention of doing precisely that and that ACS:Law were perfectly well aware of it. It is very difficult not to draw the inference that this was nothing more than a last ditch attempt to make some money from the letter writing exercise.

And maybe the most damning part with implications for the Digital Economy Bill,  that an IP address alone; “cannot and does not purport to identify the individual who actually did anything.”

Just listened to the “BBC RADIO 5 Investigates” Program Good effort on their part. 30 minutes dedicated to this issue.

A Limited Ploy? – ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T close together

February 6, 2011 2 comments

To those who have endured the letters of ACS:LAW from May 2009, the news is simply stunning, albeit there is an air of cynicism to be had.  It is true that ACS:LAW and their symbiotic monster Media C.A.T have ceased trading.  It was announced in yet another leaked email, an email sent by Andrew Crossley confirming that not only had he  closed his business but to prove the point of connection with his long time friend Lee Bowden, he also announced that Bowden’s company Media C.A.T was also closing up shop.

 This story has been well covered by TorrentFreak, but I wish to dwell not on this news so much as what the future may hold.

 The SRA as has been reported has already referred Crossley to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for a THIRD time.  The decision to fold BOTH companies just days before a Judge was due to hold a hearing regarding costs and damages, must be to all but the most positive thinking airhead to be in the least suspicious.  Can a limited company be held for costs and damages IF it no longer exists?

What is disturbing, it that on the date of the second hearing, Bowden not being present, it has transpired that he was busy setting up another Limited Company…now I know this sounds to unbelievable but it is sadly true.  The Company “100 Mile Media” was registered as a domain, as can be seen here.

Lee Bowden is the Managing Director of “Piri Ltd” and the “The Textworks”, as well as Media C.A.T, there will be others I am sure.  What is so galling is that it seems that Bowden will be able to walk away from all this “Scot free”, his company being a Limited Company will protect him against costs that would have been surely awarded against him.  Bowden was described by ACS:LAW as a “Copyright Expert”, well, in addition to that he has also been a “Public Relations Agency” and also “Building Development”.

We will have to see what happens at 14:00 on Tuesday 8th February at the Patents Court.  What will become of the data that ACS:LAW still hold on people? Will it be destroyed or sold off to someone else? 

Andrew Crossley acquired a Limited Company called “Larper Ltd” back in April 2010.  What is worrying is that come the hearing on the 8th February, unless Judge Birss finishes the practice of “Speculative Invoicing” it can be picked back up by changing limited companies, folding and starting anew, I realise of course there are more parameters involved, ie the NPO granting, which I doubt will be allowed to be given out as freely as in the past.

Also of note is the number of EX ACS:LAW employees busy scratching the name of the Company from their CVs (Leyla Mehru, hello).  I believe we need to keep an eye out for the main players activities in all this, Adam Glen, Jonathan Miller, Terence Tsang seem to be the main ones in addition to Crossley and Bowden.  We have already seen that Miller plus one other “Ex ACS:LAW employee” were behind GCB Ltd. 

These are the details of the companies setup by Bowden and Crossley (I have included Media C.A.T as it seems interesting that it shares the same “Virtual space” as his new Company.

100milemedia.co.uk

Name & Registered Office:
100 MILE MEDIA LIMITED
2 ND FLOOR
43 WHITFIELD STREET
LONDON
UNITED KINGDOM
W1T 4HD

Date of Incorporation: 24/01/2011

Company No. 07503354
http://www.whois-search.com/whois/100milemedia.co.uk

 Name & Registered Office:
MEDIA C.A.T. LTD
c/o GATEWAY PARTNERS
43 WHITFIELD STREET
LONDON
ENGLAND
W1T 4HD

Date of Incorporation: 29/04/2002

Company No. 04426555

http://web.archive.org/web/20060402205823/http://media-cat.co.uk/

Name & Registered Office:
LARPER LIMITED
c/o ACS LAW SOLICITORS
20 HANOVER SQUARE
LONDON
W1S 1JY

Date of Incorporation: 06/04/2010

Company No. 07213422

ACS:LAW Email leak – BT escapes punishment as ICO loses credibility

February 1, 2011 4 comments

If a Man claims that he won’t burgle a shop, and has “Safeguards” to prevent himself from doing so, but then burgles the shop anyway, can you imagine a Judge saying, “Oh that’s ok, you had ‘safeguards’ so that you wouldn’t do it, the fact you HAVE done it is irrelevant”, can you see this happening? No of course not, but in what can only be described as a “parallel universe” ruling, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has done just that.

BT who sent details of their Subscribers to ACS:LAW, didn’t even encrypt the Excel Documents. ACS:LAW had gone to Court with a list of IP addresses claiming that they belonged to “Copyright Infringers”, BT WITHOUT mounting ANY defence at Court to defend their Loyal subscribers, sent the documents to ACS:LAW with NO protection whatsoever.

The Documents contained the following information on over 400 Subscribers their names, Postal address, IP Address, Alleged date of infringement (Hit Date), Time (UK Date Time), and the Content Name.

Remember these were everyday BT/Plusnet customers who had been targeted by ACS:LAW, NO evidence apart from an IP address were supplied and BT did NOT defend their customers at court.

On the Plusnet Forums, angry Subscribers wanted answers, they still do. A thread on the forum has attracted 130 pages, over 2000 replies and close to 100,000 views. They have STILL not got the answers regarding ACS:LAW. True Plusnet HAVE engaged with their subscribers on the forum, but they are stuck with having to deal with this issue via the BT Legal Team.

The ICO speaking to the Guardian said, The ICO closed its investigation into the apparent data breach earlier this month after ruling that BT was not liable for the mistake, which it said was committed by one of its employees. It added “Where it is found that the data controller has adequate policies and safeguards already in place, the usual and most appropriate outcome in these cases is disciplinary action taken by the employer”

Well we KNOW who that Employee is, his name is Prakash Mistry, he is the Senior Finance Manager at BT. Not sure about you, but I really don’t see much discipline happening there, do you? No ICO has acted shamefully in this, as the Solicitors Regulation Authority have in regards to ACS:LAW.

There seems NO justice for the man on the street in all of this and seems a classic example of a Corporation flouting the rules with impunity.

A letter from Prakash Mistry to ACS:LAW requesting a “Report”(A requirement of the NPO order RE Plusnet) into how many people had been taken to court, was met by an arrogant letter accusing those requesting the report on the forums were;

 “… written by pro-piracy advocates with their own specific agenda” and “our client is taking away a method of obtaining their members copyrighted works without paying for them and that upsets those who have enjoyed free media this way”

These were outrageous slurs on their subscribers, met with SILENCE by BT.

These concerns of course can be dismissed, BT being a corporation (No soul to damn, no ass to kick) and ACS:LAW a one man band, whose Boss Andrew Crossley is now discredited in the eyes of many.

What can’t be dismissed is the LACK of protection afforded to those affected by the ICO, as with the SRA it seems they are toothless; ball-less, impotent shadows, paper tigers with all the bluster of action but with the movement and intent of a slug.

 UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham told the BBC he had new powers, to act with fines,(Regarding ACS:LAW) of up to £500,000, but much like the BT “Safeguards”, that only works IF IT IS USED! Can we really look forward to the ICO doing much better with the case against ACS:LAW? We wait and see, but not holding any breath.

ACS:LAWs File Sharing Campaign-The Bubble has Judge Birss-t

January 25, 2011 13 comments
 
 

The portly figure of Andrew Crossley leaving the hearing on 24_01_11

 

“I have ceased my work… I have been subject to criminal attack,”, “My emails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats,”

So said ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley’s in a statement read out in Court AFTER he had left.

And with that he was gone, the infamous Lawyer who has led his Law firm to destruction and many thousands of innocent people to despair, has seemingly given up.  The man whose lies have broken marriages and familys and lives, issued his statement, and went, didn’t even hang about to deliver it himself.  

I have no doubt however, he WILL be back, maybe as an “Advisor” or “Co-ordinator), his Ego will demand it.  But what of his claims of threats, against him?

Today the Metropolitan Police has said it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law. The US Company that Crossley claimed to be working with Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver (also known as United Copyright Group),  evacuated its offices after receiving a bomb threat via email last October.

As those who have been following this story for the last few years, will know, ACS:LAW are “not the best at getting things right, indeed they even attempted SUE a forum that had included that very statement.  And this is the kind of scenario that made ACS:LAW the most hated Law firm in the UK, and the most complained about, over 500 complaints had been received regarding their practice at the point that Andrew Crossley was referred to the “Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal”, for the THIRD time!

They threatened to sue the owner of a domain that was called “BeingScammed” a website that provided vital information and help in the early days, In a leaked Twitter conversation the Paralegal and EX Davenport Lyons employee Terence Tsang said of this incident

TezimondoYes but I decided to not pursue him for costs and damages. Was feeling nice.

BeingScammed rebranded and morphed into BeingThreatened arguably a far more powerful base alongside the Slyck forum  for those letter recipients that felt that the ACS:LAW model did not pass the “Smell test”.  Indeed this very Blog was setup as a repository for the background to these people behind the practice, there is lots of it.

But Crossley is a consummate liar, a man who is VERY slippery indeed.  Many times he has been caught out and changed his now defunct website to suit the fact he had been found out.  The different Law Firms that cropped up alongside ACS:LAW (Tilly Bailey Irvine, Gallant Macmillan)  seemingly linked by a common purpose of “Copyright enforcement” were later exposed by the release of ACS:LAW of their email database to be linked also by Crossley as well, sharing letter templates and other ideas,  whilst the others though fell by the wayside, TBI first then Gallant Macmillan due to negative publicity, ACS:LAW had no such reputation that could be harmed so Crossley ploughed on.

An interview with Crossley by the Telegraph highlights the type of person that the public have been exposed to for nearly TWO years. 

When we spoke he had portrayed himself as a pauper, telling me that ‘less than a month ago’ he had been wandering around an air show with no money in his pocket and not a ‘penny to my name’. The leaked data painted a very different picture.

‘Hi Paul,’ he said, a few days later in an email to me. ‘One thing I wanted to scratch from the interview was I said I had no money recently. That was not an accurate reflection of the position.’

No not accurate at all, Crossley expected to make over THREE MILLION POUNDS himself (2010-2011) that would have been Crossleys cut, the GROSS revenue was to be a whopping TEN MILLION POUNDS.  That after all was what this tawdry mess was all about all along.

The excellent Torrentfreak posted an article regarding his attitudes to those less fortuate.

The story he trolls about regarding his “emails being hacked” is not true either, he was a target of a ddos, but he had the arrogance to mock that, it was AFTER this that his site was overwhelmed and in rebuilding his website the plank exposed his email backup to the World in the root Directory.  Why he had the WHOLE archive in such a place is still a mystery.  He has still not apologised to the public for exposing their details to the world.

Crossley is quoted from his emails to have attempted to “Sidefoot” the SRA investigation.

This year the Company GCB LTD seemed to have also joined the fray but the moment they started they were crushed by an outpouring of scorn and derision.  It turned out that a Paralegal from ACS:LAW had taken over GCB LTD, but Crossley denied ANY knowledge, this again was a lie exposed at the second Court hearing where Crossley let slip that in addition to Jonathan Miller there was an unnamed SECOND ex employee.

At the Court hearing it was disclosed by Crossley that GCB LTD had been planned in September, interestingly the same time period as the “Email leak”

The links to his friend Lee Bowden owner of Media C.A.T I believe are well established and have been reported on already.  Bowden is the Managing Director of “Piri Ltd”, and the “Text Works” in addition to Media C.A.T

Many people mainly those who stood up and refused to pay up, and some of the Media have come out of this well, a few have not.  Sky has still not even reported on their “Breaking News” Channel the fact of the ACS:LAW email leak, there is suspicion regarding Sky and ACS:LAW and the silence that SKY has tried to bring to this in light of them being the biggest ISP to let down their subscribers it is SHAMEFUL of them.  8000 of their subscribers linked forever with appallingly titled Pornography that is linked to their address and credit card details and SKY says……NOTHING

I believe, I really HOPE this is the end for this horrid “Speculative Invoicing”, only time will tell.

ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T monster falls flat on it’s face

January 17, 2011 1 comment

“It has been said that we have no intention of going to court but we have no fear of it”, so spoke ACS:LAWs Principle Andrew Crossley.  Well this was his big chance to prove all his critics wrong, and he failed completely.  True he had an excuse, an accident so it has been said, but there is a pattern that emerges that just before ACS:LAW are to be held to account “something” always happens.

Andrew Crossley has already been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for a THIRD time, and this Court Case must truly raise some searching questions amongst his peers.  Media C.A.T who Crossley represents are headed by Lee Bowden who is the Managing Director of Piri Ltd.

This case was called by Judge Birss, after an attempt by ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T to gain some “Default” judgements, so easy money for people who don’t turn up to defend themselves.  This hearing failed spectacularly as Judge Birss appeared astonished at the slack work that had gone into preparing the case for the nine people they were asking for judgments against.  The Judge called a halt to proceedings and after a search for all similar cases filed by ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T it was discovered their were another 27 on the record, the Judge ordered a hearing to try to sort out all the mess.

In the weeks between the Case being halted in December 2010 and the new one that happened today a new wave of letters went out to people, from a Company that stated that they were now acting for Media C.A.T and that ACS:LAW had handed over the work to them.  After much enquiry from the forums set up to help those accused the new Company GCB LTD withdraw from the work on the SAME day as this case was adjourned.

In the last week letters have been going out to the 27 people due in Court today stating that ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T were DROPPING the cases.  You just could not make up a more amateurish  ham fisted load of crap if you tried.  ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T Barristers attempted to discontinue all the cases but the Judge said only HE could give permission for that to happen

So with Crossley and Bowden not turning up it was left to the Barristers to try to deal with the mess, and by all accounts they were very badly briefed. So badly were they briefed that the Judge called an adjournment again until next week.  The Barristers for those accused are asking for punitive costs, and saying that the cases brought are “Pernicious” Rallis Barristers stated they were putting Media C.A.T “On notice” hinting that the “Wastage costs” would be “Off the scale”

One sad moment was when one of those accused and denying accusations of sharing copyrighted porn, representing himself in court, said: “I just want this whole sordid tale behind me” he apparently settled with no recourse to cost.  Although I understand the pressure on him it is the mark of this despicable “Pay or we Sue, Speculative Invoicing” that it can push people to despair.

The Judges reported opinion on hearing that ASC:LAW and Media C.A.T may resubmit the claims they have dropped, the Judge stated the “the reissue threat was “unprecedented” in his career.

I will leave the rest of this down to those who are better at reporting it 2.  I just wanted to get it off my chest.  The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) should take a long hard look at itself.  We are here talking of a man who has been referred now THREE times to their Disciplinary Tribunal yet he is free to continue to wage his “war of attrition” against innocent people in the pursuit of money.  NO evidence, has EVER been tested in Court and it will be TWO years in May since he started, OVER two years if you take into account the previous Law Firm Davenport Lyons.

How can it be that the SRA is so powerless to stop a seemingly rogue solicitor like Andrew Crossley who has threatened individuals with ruin for trying to stand up to his bullying ways and has threatened whole forums as well.  It is just not acceptable in this day and age to allow this kind of travesty to continue.

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