DISGRACED SOLICITOR and former ACS:Law proprietor Andrew Crossley has been suspended at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, banned from practising law for two years and ordered to pay £76,326.55 in costs.
Crossley figured prominently in a scandal that saw his firm and another called Mediacat target internet users with threatening letters accusing them of having committed copyright infringement.
He's been roundly criticised online and yesterday in court came across rather pathetically. He said that he was bankrupt and separated from his wife, has not been able to pay his fine from the Information Commissioner's Office, and, in perhaps the cruelest blow, had to represent himself.
Crossley accepted six charges levied against him, including that he used his position to take advantage of other persons, but not one that accused him of not properly protecting personal data.
This last count reflects the incident that saw the details of 5,000 alleged file sharers leaked from the ACS:Law web site. According to a report on The Lawyer web site, Crossley said that the attack, which was carried out by Anonymous, could be blamed on his ISP. That report adds that he might sue his ISP, to which he paid £5.99 a month for services, when he has the necessary funds.
"Very pleased with Andrew Crossley judgement, received 1000s of emails from victims, hope many of them can now have closure," tweeted privacy advocate Alexander Haff in response to the news. "[It] was a great result, people complaining about only 2 year ban need to realise he is basically unemployable now."
Will Gilmour, a blogger that has followed the case and was present at the hearing, told us, "The result was okay; could have been better, but it'll probably do what it needs to. ie. Crossley > new profession." µ
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