UK LAW FIRM ACS:Law might have to pay costs to the defendants it went after over alleged filesharing and its solicitor Andrew Crossley may be fined.
The lawsuits that the firm filed against a number of suspected filesharers have been dismissed but now the judge overseeing those cases is considering assessing legal costs and fines against the company.
Rival law firm Ralli, which represented five of the defendants, wants £90,000 in damages. Judge Birss could agree to this request, as professional misconduct by legal representatives allows for additional 'wasted costs' to be applied, according to the BBC.
Andrew Crossley, the solicitor at ACS:Law who brought the cases, was absent from the final day in court. There is the possibility that he might face significant fines. Birss said that his conduct in the case was "out of the norm".
Crossley has been accused of "speculative invoicing" after he sent out some 10,000 letters to alleged illegal filesharers telling them to either pay £500 per infringement or be hailed into court. Crossley brought 27 cases to court but then asked that they be dismissed at the last minute.
Birss initially refused to dismiss the cases and wanted to highlight the practices of ACS:Law and Crossley in particular. Crossley's barrister wants the possible sanctions against his client dropped. He says Crossley has suffered financial losses in the filesharing debacle. Crossley is also being investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. µ