back to article Crossley cops two-year suspension

Andrew Crossley of bankrupt practice ACS:Law has received a two-year suspension from the Solicitors’ Regulatory Tribunal over the techniques he used to pursue alleged file-sharers. The business model followed by the now-defunct firm was to target individuals it accused of file sharing, sending them invoices payable to ACS:Law …

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FAIL

Presumably he's now bankrupt

So all "assets" are not in his name & he can't possibly be responsible. Can't believe he's using that hoary old "IP NAT" defence :-)

What a prize kaftan.

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gotcha

thats all

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Unhappy

Two years suspension is a joke!

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Meh

Two years suspension??

I'm surprised it's not more of a punishment (ignoring his fines that he'll clearly never pay) - surely the charge of "he took unfair advantage of the people to whom he sent letters of claim" is tantamount to fraud? Can someone please just criminally prosecute him?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: is tantamount to fraud?

No, probably was Fraud before the MP's changed the law prior to the breaking of the expenses scandal.

Originally covered by S15/Theft Act 1968 "Obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception", where you did not have to prove intent, you could just prove recklessness. (i.e. recklessly sending out demands for money on the off chance that you may actually be owed money)

This is now replaced with "Fraud by false representation" S2/Fraud Act 2006, however CPS now have to prove intent, not that the person was reckless and/or had intent.

Thus the MP's can't be charged for fraud, as they can say "Oh, but I thought this was an allowable expense", and of course this also applies to what can politely be refered to as the legal letter writing muggers (e.g. ACS Law)

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DJV
Flame

Two years suspension?

That's only fair if I can bring the ropes from which he will be suspended and can select the bits he will be suspended by!

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Trollface

Don't worry, he's on the radar...

Although to Andrew Im sure this is a minor inconvenience, somewhat akin to his train being delayed by 10 minutes or something like that.

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In a similarly heartening vein

of justice turned upon the dodgy wielders, This starts good -

Sweet irony: Righthaven sued by company it used to sue others.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/sweet-irony-righthaven-sued-by-company-it-used-to-sue-others.ars

And gets better! -

Righthaven's lawyers now targets of State Bar investigation.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/righthavens-lawyers-now-targets-of-state-bar-investigation.ars

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Megaphone

I would have considered a charge of extortion

with menace to be perfectly justified in his case.

Lets face it he got away with much less hardship than he imposed on his victims.

Remember folks this scam is just the same as car parking scams. Don't pay Private Car Parking Fines as they have no basis in law. It is not a Fine its a invoice which can be ignored.

Why these people are allowed to abuse people for profit is beyond me

icon: shouty shouty as the more people that know about these scams the less will be taken in by them. Spread the word!

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Headmaster

Extortion with Menaces

If you believe that's so you are probably well suited to be employed by Crossley in whatever his next legal venture is; that's no more sound than what Crossley tried to apply.

Receiving a request to "pay up or we'll see you in court" is not demanding money with menaces but merely an assertion of a position which you may ignore if you wish. They will either take you to court or not, and if they do, and the claim is unproven or thrown out, they lose the case and most likely pay all the costs, plus damages and costs if you counter claim. That's "judicial process" not "menace"; if you are frightened by judicial process that's your problem.

If "pay up or we'll see you in court" were deemed demanding money with menaces it's hard to see how anyone could ever state that as their intended action without being automatically guilty of a criminal offence and that's plainly ridiculous.

Claims without merit will be lost, and those brought without justification or on no credible basis are deemed vexatious and that is effectively what Crossley is being punished for. And rightly so.

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Anonymous Coward

Who guards the guards...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

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Trollface

Thanks for the laughs Andy!

Thanks for sharing...

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Sharia law

Handing him over to his victims would have been the perfect punishment in this case.

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Do you suppose he has much of a career has a solicitor (or indeed anything else?) ahead of him after this (after his suspension)? He's already financially ruined by all accounts.

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He's aware of the bankruptcy laws

and will be back as a new conpany soon as he can register it (not a typo)

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Meh

It's sort of an automated "suing for peace" deal where copyright is concerned.

The classic "My client states that your song xxxx is very similar to the song yyy he sent you for your opinion. Blah Blah. He will go aware for the sum of $zzz"

This deal operates at the other end of the chain but the principal is remarkably similar.

Funny when other people do this its (IE non lawyers) it's usually viewed as a form of extortion, rather than malpractice.

But 2 years is a start.

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Big Brother

Lifetime suspension

Given the charge list against him, any reputable enforcement agency would give them a lifetime suspension. Solicitors, just like any other profession, have good and bad within the profession. Problem is, they don't like dealing with the bad, often because they end up having the power. By his actions, this man is clearly unfit to practice and there's no reason to think this will ever change, so the ban should be for life.

According to the charges, he's abuse the people he's sought money from (extorted some might say) and also abuse his own clients, who even had to pay for it!! He's failed at every level, both criminally (almost certainly) and definitely morally. Kicking him out might make people think better of solicitors..........but then, money talks.

Anyone who thinks he's broke or we won't be seeing him again is extremely nieve.

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Go

Indeed...

I would say this was done only because they had to (To much publicity). But it's still nice to see it has been recognized!

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Megaphone

Scam Artist !

I accuse you Andrew Crossley and I would be quite gladly defend that comment in court to expose you for what you are.

The punishments that this man has received are well below that which are expected from the scales of justice and the sword of retribution.

Justice has not been done.

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FAIL

Thats a whole lot more than his train journey and the costly season travelcard that he once claimed caused him more stress than hackers did.

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Anonymous Coward

Well done legal system

Congratulations to another toothless watchdog for demonstrating admirably that there really is an "us" and "them", and that only little people ever, ever get anything like the hammering they deserve -this is true Ofcom-style soft touch.

The legal profession needn't worry about Crossley bringing them into disrepute; they're doing a perfectly god job of looking like utter arseholes on their own.

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Flame

And yet, nobody cares enough to actually do anything about it. Strange how the world works, isn't it?

As long as the proles can still obtain the latest i-phone and gorge themselves on welfare while the humans (i.e., actual PEOPLE) accept paying for said welfare with an ever-increasing portion of the wages from their labor, nothing is likely to change in the foreseeable future (until commodities start running out, anyways).

Flame, because that's how all civilizations end, right? Maybe I should have chosen the nuke blast icon this time? Hmmm?

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One law for the rich, one law for the lawers and no law for the victims

The idea that the recipients of those letters were able to just ignore them, or that it was not extortion because they could defend themselves in court is absolutely laughable. "The courts of England are available to anyone (like the Savoy hotel)" Dalhousie. I didn't realise just how much injustice that causes until I started providing support to people who are on the receiving/victim end of the law.

It may not meet the legal definition of extortion but it certainly meets the everyday definition. It was an absolutely pathetic penalty. Did he send more than one letter to anyone? If so then the criminal charge of harassment should be considered.

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Pint

From the BBC article

"It was revealed during the hearing that the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority) had asked Mr Crossley to stop the scheme within days of him setting it up, but he had refused."

I really hope this whole episode gets into some law school curricula...

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Happy

Hey Mr Crossley

How's your coffee now, you twat?

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