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Ralli UK Confidentially Settles Wasted Costs Claim vs ACSLaw Outside of Court

Posted: 15th Jul, 2011 By: MarkJ
p2p copyright uk ISP file sharing lawralli uk solicitors acslawSolicitors firm Ralli has confirmed that its £90,000 Wasted Costs claim against the notoriously controversial law firm ACS:Law (Andrew Crossley) and its intermediary, MediaCAT, has finally been confidentially settled outside of court.

The claim was brought following ACS:Law's dramatically unsuccessful attempt to sue 27 broadband ISP customers; those whom it had often erroneously accused of taking part in "illegal" internet copyright infringement via BitTorrent P2P (File Sharing) services. Five of the defendants chose to pursue ACS:Law for damages (here).

ACS:Law is now known to have sent thousands of "bullying" letters to UK internet users, each demanding hundreds of pounds in settlement money and legal fees (i.e. speculative invoicing). The court case exposed significant failings in ACS:Law's conduct and critical weaknesses with its IP address based evidence. This is the same sort of data that the government intends to use for its equally controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA), which in some cases could result in innocent people losing their internet access.

Michael Forrester, Ralli's Intellectual Property and IT Solicitor, said:

"We considered from an early stage that these actions against our clients were not brought correctly. The Judgment and eventual settlement supports our view in all material respects.

We are dealing with cases where consumers have explained how they cannot possibly have uploaded or downloaded copyright protected material, but they are still pursued.

The legal basis for the claims made against these alleged file sharers involves complex legal and technical principles. These are extremely difficult for a lay person to understand and can lead to an innocent person being pursued.

It can be incredibly upsetting for people to receive these letters and they may well have a claim in harassment, so we are urging them to come forward."

ACS:Law ultimately closed down earlier this year and Crossley was officially declared bankrupt by the London High Court on 20th May 2011, though he continues to live in a £700k mansion and drive a £200k Bentley. Crossley also looks set to escape payment of a meagre £800 penalty for allowing thousands of confidential broadband ISP customer details to be leaked online (here).

Crossley himself now faces a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in October 2011 (details), which has accused him of abusing "his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of" people. He is also accused of acting "without integrity" after providing "false information in statements made to the Court".
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