The hearing will take place on
August 18th 2011 (The date of the hearing is yet to be set thanks to those eagle eyed readers who spotted the mistake.)
The allegations are or contain the following
1) Allowed his independence to be compromised
2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients
3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession
4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law
5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients
6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.
7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.
We at ACS:BORE are pleased with these charges and think they largely cover what we and many others have been saying for the last two years. We look forward to seeing the hearing in practice and feel sure that these allegation whilst unproven at the moment, will be thoroughly pursued with the full weight of the law.
This is not the first time that Andrew Crossley has appeared, this will be his THIRD time. One has to ask how many times can a Solicitor be pulled in before the Disciplinary Tribunal and be allowed to continue. We look forward to August and hope it will be a FULL vindication for all those innocent people affected by the actions of ACS:LAW and their cohorts.
Many of those who engaged with ACS:LAW in bringing this misery to the general public will NOT be tried, but for those who follow this Blog, we at least know who they are.
Thanks to Enigmax!
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 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”
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.
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.
Many people have received a letter from either ACS:LAW or Gallant Macmillan. These letters seem to act like a dragnet in that they may well identify the occasional person who is accused of file sharing who actually did it, but far to many times the dragnet has included many who are wholly innocent of what they have been accused of.
The wording of the letters of ACS:LAW and Gallant Macmillan are VERY similar and they have also used the same “Monitoring” Software.
With the recent news that ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley is following Davenport Lyons in being referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, a lot of people receiving a letter from Gallant Macmillan have started coming forward, claiming innocence.
With all this in mind ACS BORE has obtained a Proforma from the Solicitors Regulation Authority for people to fill out details of the letters they have received, as the SRA are looking to end this practice. This practise after all is very corrosive to the trust that people have in the Legal profession.
Here is a link to help you complete the form that the SRA require. It is a simple form that will not take long at all to fill out. PLEASE DO IT
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964
Here is a link to the previous appearances by Andrew Crossley at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
This letter sending dragnet of “Speculative Invoicing will ONLY stop when the SRA has a loud and booming voice saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, THIS IS NOT JUSTICE” and one of the best ways we can provide that voice is by filling out the form and sending it to them. If YOU do nothing then dont expect ANYTHING to change
Well ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley had his chance to defend his “Foolproof” method of identifying people file sharing and he blew it. Not only did he blow it but he has now taken his reputation even lower than anyone previously thought possible.
The One show had been putting together a segment relating to a number of complaints from innocent people who have been accused by Crossley and his cohorts (Logistep/Digirights/Digiprotect/NG3Systems)
ACS:LAW has been investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA) as have the previous Solicitors who attempted to execute this so called “Foolproof” method which amounts to nothing more than “Speculative Invoicing”.
It is a way for Solicitors to recoup money for rights owners whose products are usually so bad that no one has bought them, in the words of one of these “People” to “Generate alternative revenue streams”
On the “One Show” Program, it clearly showed there were problems with the way ACS:LAW go about their business. It highlighted Three innocent people, Lawdits Michael Coyle was damning in his assessment. Which? Legal Expert Deborah Prince also appeared
Andrew Crossley is standing now on the precipice, the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA) are due to conclude their investigation against him at the end of this month, the previous Solicitors who attempted this “Scheme” Davenport Lyons, have already been referred to the disciplinary tribunal at a date still to be set.
What was Andrew Crossleys reason for NOT appearing on the show? Believe it or not, it was some hogwash about “Not prejudicing the SRA investigation into my business”. Well I say that is a very cowardly reason. Of course one has to wonder wether he considers he HAS a reputation to save anymore.
This “Scheme” of course is NOT Andrew Crossleys. The “Speculative Invoicing Scheme” is merely a conduit that IF ACS:LAW are forced to stop will be picked up by some other chancers. Already Davenport Lyons have attempted and then ceased, as mentioned they are awaiting disciplinary measures. Tilly Bailey Irvine attempted it and then withdrew, and now of course we have another firm called Gallant Macmillan
Here are some GOOD reasons for anyone who has received a letter from these “People” to consider
Online coverage of the issue in all kinds of digital media has been huge
Tilly Bailey Irvine beat a hasty retreat from the practice following damage to their business as a result of their participation in the scheme – an investigation was started by the SRA following complaints – this has not yet concluded.
We await The SRAs conclusion and we also await a response from Andrew Crossley, although don’t hold your breath….
In a letter dated 8th February Bridget Prentice MP writes a letter of response to Lord Young of Northwood Green regarding amongst other things the conduct of ACS:LAW.
The letter has been published on the National Archives Website.
What is fascinating about the letter is that the Under Secretary expresses and acknowledges the distress that the actions of ACS:LAW are causing. She also states that whilst the Government itself cannot do anything about it the SRA can, and also alludes to the fact that the SRA can ONLY deal with disciplinary actions whereas Compensation claims must be sought through the CIVIL COURT. Just read that again, here is an extract
Now the REALLY cool bit for ALL those worrying about “how many letters to send”, “Should I reply”, “What should I do if I reply and get another letter”
Can you see it? “It is open to them to inform ACS:LAW that they are not liable and do NOT intend to reply to any further correspondence save to defend a claim should one be brought”
So NO MORE LETTER TENNIS/PING PONG. REPLY, DENY, DEFY!
Or “The Trough is dry so we will talk to people who have NO idea that we have NO good reputation”
ACSLAW to Hit the Cannes Film Festival! Wow exciting times, Andrew Crossley must have made a LOT of money to weasel his way there.
The chances of this idiot of course being thrown out of Cannes is quite high. NO respected Film Producer or production house is going to give him a second look. Who will? Well films that are crap and that no one wants to watch.
Who is Crossley working with regarding his “colleagues based in Europe and the United States”? Well if I had to hazard a guess at what smells the same in the US as this Crap in the UK it would have to be the “US Copyright Group” who has on its client list such films as “Steam Experiment,” “Far Cry,” “Uncross the Stars,” “Gray Man,” or “Call of the Wild 3D.” never heard of them? Well like I said that is because they are CRAP and don’t deserve to earn any money (Don’t believe me? Check out IMDB or the name of Far Cry Director “Uwe Boll”). This is where the TRUE reasoning behind the “creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel.” as US Copyright Group Lawyer Jeffrey Weaver recently commented, comes from.
You pick a game or a film or music, that is basically CRAP and does not sell much, rather than saying “Hey it’s a piece of Crap” they say, “the reason it has not sold is that people have copied it for free”. They BUY the rights for P2P distribution of these AWFUL titles and then ANY IP that is caught in a SWARM is targeted, spoofed or not, they don’t care. It is ALL money to them. AVATAR of course did VERY bad at the Box Office because of all the free downloads!
Of course don’t fool yourself that this is actually JUSTICE, if there was ANY chance of it going to Court the actual claim would be DROPPED, see they don’t want a fight, OH NO they want to SCARE people into THINKING they will be taken to Court. Don’t believe me? Ok, go find ALL the people that ACS LAW, Davenport Lyons or Tilly Bailey & Irvine have ACTUALLY prosecuted. Oh and Isabella Barwinska DOES NOT COUNT. Go on, and please IF you do find someone please please email me, I will be VERY surprised.
Oh and one last point, considering it was claimed that Isabella Barwinska was the FIRST person Prosecuted for file sharing in the UK, you could also go and see if you can find me a photo or any other info on this lady.
So I hope someone in Cannes spots this fat balding charlatan and takes some pics of him and his sidekick Terence. You know where to send them…..
The rather childish response from ACS:LAW as posted on their website.
ACS Law are delighted with the passing of the Digital Economy Bill through the House of Commons and welcomes a new age of prosperity for our creative industries. The swift and decisive action taken today will ensure that rights owners may now invest with confidence to deliver high quality media to the masses.
This firm has always held the belief that the owner of the internet connection should be held, in the first instance, to be responsible for copyright infringement occurring on their internet connection. We are encouraged to see that the government are of a similar view. The Digital Economy Bill comes as a tragic blow to those who have failed in their misguided attempts to campaign against our work and similarly, those who believe that they can continually deprive hard working musicians, film makers and software companies of the revenue they rightly deserve without repercussion.
In a short space of time, we have demonstrated sustainable and measurable results for our clients. As our client list grows, we continue to represent and work closely with rights owners to ensure that their intellectual property is protected. The future holds many new opportunities which this firm will capitalise upon, as we aim to multiply our successes through a new marketing initiative to take advantage of the Digital Economy Bill.
So says ACS:LAW (Leaving aside the fact that he targets many innocent people with his $250 piece of crap monitoring software). I will leaves their words hanging as they do, there is NOTHING I can say that would make them any more ridiculous than they already are. I will also leave the last Word to Mr Crossley, regarding his clawing back money for the rightful owners. “After my expenses the copyright owner is the largest single beneficiary,” he said.
What he of course FAILS to mention is that in the ACS:LAW Business Model Logistep, Digiprotecr and now his own Friend LEE BOWDEN, BUY the rights to the material for a pittance and so make the money as the “Copyright Holder”, nice work if you can get it, oh and of course you don’t have a conscience.