ACS: Law denies setting up shop overseas Letters to Greek residents could be fake

22 July 2011

The scales of justice held up

It looks as though somebody is impersonating Andrew Crossley, the former boss of the now defunct ACS: Law.

The deception came to light after Mr Crossley denied sending letters to Greek residents, accusing them of alleged illegal file sharing offences.

His denial was made, via a telephone call, to Ralli Solictors (Ralli) yesterday after a number of media outlets reported that the law firm, which closed down in January, may now be operating abroad.

‘[We’ve] been contacted by Mr Crossley, who denied that these latest emails, which included a letter of claim, had been generated by him,’ Ralli said.

For more information, read our file-sharing guide.

Ralli had previously announced that it was providing legal advice to someone living in Greece who said they had received a letter of claim, via ACS: Law, demanding they pay £1,665 or face legal action.

At the time, Ralli signalled that something may be amiss: ‘We have advised clients that we may be dealing with an imposter,’ said Michael Forrester, a solicitor from Ralli’s business litigation department.

‘The IP addresses quoted do not appear conventional, making reference to country codes outside the UK. Despite this, the letters of claim refer to UK law under the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

‘Normally an internet service provider would not release their customers’ contact details without a court order, Michael Forrester continued. ‘We have no information about a relevant court order in these cases.’

‘The recipients of the emails do not know how their email addresses have been obtained, nor why it was alleged that they have infringed copyright,’ he ended.

ACS: Law shuts up shop

In January this year, Andrew Crossley announced that he was pulling out of the illegal file sharing arena and closing down ACS: Law after receiving death threats.

In April, he narrowly escaped being fined £200,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office when his website was hacked in September last year and the personal and sensitive details of 6,000 alleged illegal file sharers were exposed online.

Andrew Crossley faces a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in October over allegations that he breached a number of the provisions of the Solicitor's Codes of Conduct.

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