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British Mass Litigation Lawyers Found Guilty of Professional Misconduct

Posted by: , 15:37 AEST, Sat June 11, 2011
Tags: Copyright

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Two lawyers who initiated the current wave of mass copyright lawsuits in the UK have been found guilty of six counts of professional misconduct, and could face disbarment

Following a long investigation into two lawyers, who had previously worked for British firm Davenport Lyons, have been found guilty of professional misconduct by UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

David Gore and Brian Miller initiated the current wave of copyright mass litigation mailings in the UK when, in 2006 through to 2009, they sent out hundreds of letters demanding Internet users pay up to settle copyright claims, or face going to court. Users were asked up to £500 to make the case go away.

Consumer magazine Which? conducted a study into their practices, and found that many of the targeted were innocent, and that the letters sent out contained claims which weren't 100% accurate.

It was then that the SRA decided to launch an investigation into the pair, and this week, both have been found guilty on all six counts. The SRA found that the pair targeted innocent users knowingly, did not act in the best interest of their clients, and had acted in a way that diminished trust in the legal profession, and saying that their mass copyright litigation was more about making money, and that the evidence they had, the IP address, was flimsy at best.

Gore and Miller could face disbarment when penalties are handed out next month.

The now defunct UK copyright law firm ACS:Law, and its chief principal Andrew Crossley will also face the tribunal in October on similar charges.

Do you think the verdict handed down by the SRA is a fair one, and if so, do you think other law firms conducting similar operations should be prevented from continuing based on this decision? Post your comments in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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