SOLICITOR and alleged copyright troll Andrew Crossley is back in the hands of the law today to answer questions at a disciplinary tribunal.
The ACS:Law solicitor was the copyright shakedown king in the UK and made a name for himself by sending threatening letters to internet users about content that they might have illegally downloaded, that is if anyone could tie them to a WiFi connection.
Things have not gone quite as well as Crossley might have hoped, and as well as turning himself into an internet villain he also got fined a massive £1,000 for being loose with people's personal data, and was hauled over the coals by the 4chan userbase and Anonymous hackers. ACS:Law ceased trading in January last year, but its story has not ended.
A PDF on the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) web site reveals that Crossley faced a substantive hearing today that started at 10am.
There are seven allegations against Crossley, according to information released by the SDT last year. These include suggestions that he allowed his independence to be compromised, acted contrary to the best interests of his client, acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession, and 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.
None of these are good things for a solicitor to face. The other charges, that he acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients, that he 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, and that he acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the court, don't improve matters much either.
The tribunal might release early findings today. We will update this story if and when this happens. µ