ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T Letters issued by GCB Ltd (UPDATE 5)

UPDATE ON THIS STORY 20th January 2011

PC PRO have written a devastating piece regarding this story, please read.  It PROVES that GCB LTD are linked to ACS:LAW through one of their Paralegals  Jonathan Miller


To the 26 remaining people with cases outstanding

I understand that ACS LAW have been sending out letters in the last two days. Please could you send me a scan of this, or contact me at


People who have received letters from ACS:LAW the now INFAMOUS Law Firm based in the UK who have since May 2009 been sending out what many consider to be “Speculative invoices” and others “Pay us or we SUE” mail to people they suspect of filesharing, seem to have switched to a rather obscure company to continue their dubious practice.

People have started to receive a letter pack from a company called GCB Ltd, C/O Mclean Reid

Mclean Reid are a Chartered accountants and quite what their connection with this is, is not clear.  The letters are posted on here to support others who may be receiving them soon.

The letter is somewhat amusing in the sense that it refers the reader to “A copy of the case between “Polydor and others vs Brown and others” which even ACS:LAW staff felt was irrelevant as the person in the case ADMITTED he was at fault, and also even stranger for a law firm regarding a legal ruling, rather than include Court documents, they refer the reader to a BBC NEWS story about the now discredited Barwinska case.

All this of course just FOUR days before the Court hearing that many believe will decide the future of these kinds of cases.

I would urge ANYONE who has received a letter from GCB LTD on behalf of ACS:LAW to contact the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority)

Contact Centre Proforma – External Use Doc File

Contact Centre
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964

UPDATE: Mclean Reid have issued a statement on their Website concerning this situation (Confirmed)


We have no connection whatsoever with ACS Law

GCB Ltd was formed by us and appears to be being misused by some third party. 

We are taking urgent steps to ensure that our name is not in any way abused in this connection.

Thank you.

This rather terse statement was followed by a further posting on one of the forums covering the ACS:LAW debacle (UnConfirmed)

GCB Ltd was a dormant company formed by us at the request of a client, we were the registered office for convenience. Our client thought he was helping out an ‘associate’ of his by allowing that ‘associate’ to use this dormant company for a business venture (which we knew nothing about). Neither we, nor our client, knew it was going to be used for this purpose. We only discovered this yesterday (13th January) and accordingly advised our client, who also wants to remove his association from this company.

This latest news just adds to the fog, I would urge ALL recipients to complain to the relevant authorities about this as it does seem very suspicious.  On contacting Holborn Place it appears that a Mr Miller is the Director of GBC Ltd

 This link may be of use to help point you in the right direction. 


Mclean Reid have now stated the following although I can not confirm it


Mclean Reid can confirm that they are cancelling the registered office facility for GCB Ltd and have contacted the various regulatory authorities and other interested parties.

We also confirm that we have no connection whatsoever with ASB Law, its directors or shareholders.


 Email from Mclean Reid, just after the ACS:LAW Court case ended:

Yes we will send money back to sender
 We have not notified the Police, but you should feel free to do so.


We are advised that the Director has taken the decision stop further trading through GCB Ltd in respect of alleged copyright infringement.

We believe that he has moved swiftly to minimise the damage to his name in taking this decisive action. 

We are further advised that he was unaware of the background involved in these claims or the precise nature of the claims.  To that end anyone receiving letters from or on behalf of GCB Ltd in respect of copyright infringement should ignore these letters. We have been assured that no further action will be taken.

 Make of this what you will! But it does seem like the latest threat from ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T via GCB LTD is over!


The rather excellent “Ren” has provided a great post on Slyck for those affected by GCB LTD

About Hickster

I am one of the many innocent people who have been accused of file sharing by Copyright Trolls, my letter came from the now infamous ACS:LAW, but they have now been emulated by many more using the same system. Their ruse is simple, Send out letters of claim with NO Real evidence beyond an IP address that they claim was captured using a frowned upon hack of Shareaza. My REAL opinion of these companies turned when they started sending out Pornography claims, THAT is what I find most disturbing. People who HAVE to pay up without the option of having their day in Court. THAT is NOT Justice. Why can't they just go to Court? because the Lawyers, pitch the price of paying the "Compensation" at about the same rate as hiring a lawyer to fight it. Things have changed in the last 8 years though. I would advise people to read the "Speculative Invoicing Handbook Part 2", research these people yourselves, and find me at Slyck Forums, or on Twitter. Do NOT Worry, Stand Strong
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40 Responses to ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T Letters issued by GCB Ltd (UPDATE 5)

  1. anon says:

    I hope people will now take a stand against this legalised extortion after the debacle of ACS Law.

    The government needs to step in and do something against all these companies, because I do not think these companies give a dam about legalities, its seems more of a cash cow for them with low overhead and quick return of investment.

    Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the online community. We need sites like this to keep people up to date seeing as it is being ignored by mainstream media, and official bodies that are supposed to be looking after our interests.

    Keep up the good fight.

  2. Duke says:

    I may be merely a law student, but this is ridiculous.

    Firstly, we have Media C.A.T. v A and others [2010] EWPCC 017 (ruled on 2 weeks before these letters were sent) pointing out that Media CAT doesn’t seem to be in a position to make infringement claims (at 19 – ) not to mention all the other issues raised there.

    Secondly, as far as I know, someone receiving one of these letters is under no obligation to provide any explanation, and the comment about refusing template letters is similarly worthless (I imagine that a template letter would have as much weight in court as any other response, if accurate).

    Thirdly, as noted, Polydor v Brown is pretty irrelevant (although an interesting read) and Topware v Barwinska, being unreported and merely at a County Court level is similarly worthless (even without the details obtained via the email leaks) – and a news report (based on a press release) is hardly conclusive.

    Finally, the comment giving merely 14 days of writing the letter to respond on pain of “further action” is rather meaningless as there is obviously nothing stopping action being taken anyway (plus given the date sent, those 14 days include the busiest time of year for the postal services, leaving maybe 4 working days to respond).

    All in all, this looks like an even more desperate fishing attempt.

    As for the law firm involved, according to the Law Society there’s no registered law firm under the name GCB Limited or Mclean Reid, but the Holborn address given matches that of Hobson & Arditti – another 1-man law firm which covers a range of legal services:

    Hopefully more information will come out on Monday.

  3. anon1 says:

    I’m really curious about this, I’ve just received a letter today from them, exactly as above, they make mention of a previous letter from ACS, which I know I never got, and I have no idea about the media that I have apparently downloaded to infringe Media C.A.T. Limited copy right.

    How have others dealt with this?

    • ray says:

      Also, contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority – they are currently preparing their case against ACS:Law – I think it will be heard in March. I am sure they are interested in the letters you got.

  4. Duke says:

    anon1; it might be worth trying to get in touch with Ralli Solicitors;

    It looks like they’ve been advising people in a similar situation to you, although mainly those going to court on Monday. They may still be interested in hearing from you, though.

    At times like this I really wish I was already a lawyer…

  5. Chris says:

    Got exact same letter.

    Be interesting to know what they accuse others of downloading. Apparently I downloaded some porn film, but no mention of date or time.

    If the ISP can give them my details and what I downloaded, surely they can also provide a date and time of the alleged offense.

    Will I pay the £475? Nope, but if they want to take it further, I’ll happily see them in court.

    • anon1 says:

      Chris, it is the same for me, I’ve apparently downloaded 4 porn films, and they (GCB) made no mention of when this may have occurred. They say that ACS contacted me previously (which they had not) and include a copy of the letter, which is just a template file with a date, it is addressed to “Dir Sir or Madam”, no mention of my name or address, nor details of even the infringements.

      Did anyone else also find that there was a “delay” between when the letters were dated and when you received them? Mine was dated on the 8th (a Saturday), sent 2nd class, and only received it on the 13th, seems a convenient way to reduce available time for a response.

      I’ve contacted Ralli, in case my situation is of any use to them in the current case or a future one.

  6. Chris says:

    Found this post 🙂

    Christmas is coming, Crossley’s getting fat
    Please put a penny in the fat twats hat
    If you haven’t got a penny, then a ha’penny will do
    If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then he’ll sue you!

  7. Bill Bixby says:

    What I find interesting is the fact they have included copyright protected material from the BBC within their correspondence that isn’t authorised for commercial use!

    The BBC make quite clear the rights associated with use of material from its websites and commercial use in this manner is not listed 🙄

  8. Highlnder says:

    I have received letter from g b s ltd, so what should I do as I am innocent?

  9. Suz says:

    I also received the letter yesterday, this is the 2nd time after early last year which stated I downloaded porn which I never have in my life, this led me into 5 weeks of depression, I replied to them not to hassle me or I see them in court. Now this, I am totally innocent.

  10. Bill Bixby says:

    Go here for more info

    I know it’s a big read, but it’s worth it.

    It’s now looking more like GCB are not who they say they are and their whole legitimacy as a company is in question.

  11. faza says:


  12. jack says:

    McLean Reid say “We also confirm that we have no connection whatsoever with ASB Law, its directors or shareholders.”

    OK so do you deny that you have any connection with ACS:Law ?

  13. Chris says:


    Omg, I laughed so much after listening to those calls

    • Hickster says:


      Only it actually ISN’T. It may be discussed but only as the “Urban legend” that it has become. Ever seen a photo of Ms Barwinska? You would have thought she would have been interviewed regarding this landmark decision. However the biggest problem with this case is the LACK of evidence. The letter from ACS:LAW/GCB Ltd includes the actual Court decision regarding the Polydor case, yet the Barwinska case is represented by a BBC News report? Why? where is the Court decision regarding the Barwinska case?

      If anyone can produce it I will stop believing it to be a lie that was dreamt up by Davenport Lyons and Topware Interactive to frighten people into believeing that “You will be next if you decide to fight this case”

      For the record I believe the Barwinska case to be PHONEY

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  19. piers 21 says:

    GCB Ltd 5687574 appears to be trading and has two Directors Mr David CR Fisher and Mr Michael John Stuart Fisher. Has anyone checked up with these guys – they are on linked inn and twitter. This thing is now way beyond farce now.

  20. Pingback: P2PTalk » ACS:Law Try To Drop File-Sharing Cases, Fail To Appear in Court

  21. Mysterious Stranger says:

    I received 1 letter from ACS:Law back in august 2010, and a second letter from GCB LTD on 17th Jan 2011. I have not replied to either letter.

    There are a few points I would like to make that I havent seen covered yet.

    1. The “intellectual property” in question is a low quality reproduction of a single scene from an adult movie, downloaded from a link advertising it as a sample video.
    2. The “evidence” indicates that I made this available to others, although the file may have briefly been visible to other computers on the internet it was not by any means available to them.
    3. ACS:Law is recorded as breaching data protection (see link) so anyone who recieved this information could also attempt to stake the same claim.

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  25. GrahamT says:

    I to got a letter from GCB Ltd and decided to gave their ‘Payment Center’ telephone number a call. Got the recorded message stating that the letters people had received should be disregarded as GCB Limited were “no longer pursuing the matter stated in the letter.”
    Lets hope this is the end of it.

    • Duncan H says:

      Ive just called the payment centre, and got the same recorded message. I called this number because GrahamT did, all after constructing a letter to GCB (I thought it was genuine and was worried, should I now stop worrying?

  26. Maria says:

    GrahamT :
    I to got a letter from GCB Ltd and decided to gave their ‘Payment Center’ telephone number a call. Got the recorded message stating that the letters people had received should be disregarded as GCB Limited were “no longer pursuing the matter stated in the letter.”
    Lets hope this is the end of it.

    I called today and I got the same recorded message. In this case “disregard” ahould mean “don’t do anything else”? Would it be better to send them a letter saying that we heard the message?

  27. Michael Jones says:

    I received three letters from ACS Law last November and December. I batted them off with a prompt reply each time. Interesting that each subsequent letter from them gave no indication that they had read my response. I was also intrigued in the drop of “compensation” required by them after my first refusal to pay them.

    Earlier this month, GCB Ltd sent me a letter as they have taken up the cudgel because ACS Law Ltd “is now focussing its attention on identifying new infringements and the issuing court proceedings only” – my arse!

    I of course immediately batted this one back.

    I note that GCB Ltd is using identical stationery as ACS Law Ltd.

    It’s getting tedious now, but what frightems me most is what would have happened if my 92 year old Mum had received a similar letter regarding her internet connection.

  28. aninnocentman says:

    Just seen an article on BBC News online

    Is this the end? Has AC finally realised he can’t get away with this any longer?

  29. Anonymous says:

    GCB is clearly a shelf company.

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