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Bully file sharing solicitors fined

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25 User comments (6)

Bully file sharing solicitors fined Pair behind threatening letters for alleged piracy given hefty fines.
Davenport Lyons former intellectual property partner Brian Miller, and current equity partner David Gore, have been fined 20,000 each for sending intimidating letters to Internet users accused of illegal file sharing activity. Additionally, the pair have been ordered to pay 150,000 to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to cover some its costs for bringing the case to prosecution.

The fines here handed down at a hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on Monday. Between 2006 and 2009, Miller and Gore sent over 6,000 letters to alleged pirates on behalf of clients that included Topware Interactive and Atari.

Which? had filed a complaint with the SRA over the letters, saying the solicitors were bullying and being excessive. It also alleged that the letters contained false assertions on copyright infringement, such as a claim that failing to secure an Internet connection was grounds for legal action. The pair also increased the level of compensation claimed over the period of correspondence. The letters typically demanded 500 to be paid in compensation to avoid it going any further.

The men were found guilty of breaching the Solicitors Code of Conduct, by allowing their independence to be compromised, not acting in the best interest of their clients and bringing the legal profession into disrepute.

"Some of those affected were vulnerable members of the public. There was significant distress. We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a conclusion and hope that it serves as a warning to others," an SRA spokesperson said.

Tags: piracy P2P
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6 user comments

15.8.2011 9:09

This is no more than a slap on the wrist. The fine most probably amounts to practically nothing compared to their incomes.They should be disbarred for life as warning to others!

25.8.2011 10:02

At least they got fined something more than the 1000 ACS law bloke got away with, although it still stinks you know thats probably only a couple of days wages to them a week at most.

35.8.2011 14:26

I actually know someone who paid them. Do they have any redress?

45.8.2011 22:46

all the money that they have to pay in fines should go to the victims of the stand over tactics they used.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

56.8.2011 16:29

not related to this piece. if a solicitor a CEO to that says in an email which was sent to HR and HR accidently attached it to a mail sent to me and which concerned me is there anything i can do, to take it further as it has caused me a lot of stress and upset, considering i have always been a loyal member of staff. Mail from CEO as follows:

if she is going to be arsy, then we will have to reconsider our position

66.8.2011 17:04

Sounds like industrial tribunal ammo to me ;) that's assuming you want to go for the jugular if not, you had better just take it as it comes and keep them happy in the future.

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