ACS:Law continues downward spiral with file-sharing cases

Posted 18 January 2011 13:00 CEST by wconeybeer

Things just keep getting stranger in the world of ACS:Law, the UK firm owned by Andrew Crossley. In early December, Judge Birss QC threw out 8 of the firm’s file sharing cases cases after a number of errors were made by the firm. At another hearing in mid-December, a ninth case was dismissed, and there were so many errors made that the judge ordered a full review of the remaining cases. And perhaps the biggest error of all has been the revelation that several UK citizens who have received demand letters from the firm couldn’t have possibly committed the crimes they are accused of.

On Monday, the case review by Judge Birss took place as scheduled, but notably absent was Andrew Crossly who cited “an unfortunate family car accident at the weekend” as the reason for his failure to show up.

A court reporter told TorrentFreak that, “Crossley looks in serious trouble, both defense barristers are seeking all costs, including ‘wasted costs’ and order to show ‘due cause’ both of which require serious misconduct in order to be awardable; prima facie case put forward on that basis.”

In addition, the 27 remaining defendants in ACS:Law’s active cases all received letters last week informing them that their cases were being dropped. One odd feature of those letters that added to the court’s confusion on Monday, was a return mailing address for a firm of accountants called McLean Reid and a notice that recipients should send their payments to GCB Limited rather than ACS:Law or MediaCAT, the company that the firm has been representing.

TorrentFreak contacted the offices of Mclean Reid to find out how GBC fits into the situation.

“We have no connection with ACS:Law or MediaCat and have never had. We were the registered office of GCB until we became aware of this matter when we terminated the relationship,” a Mclean Reid representative said.  “GCB Ltd was a dormant company formed by us at the request of a client, we were the registered office for convenience.”

“Our client thought he was helping out an ‘associate’ of his by allowing that ‘associate’ to use this dormant company for a business venture (which we knew nothing about),” Mclean Reid added in a statement. “Neither we, nor our client, knew it was going to be used for this purpose.”

Mclean Reid also advised that people who receive these letters ignore them but keep them in a safe place. They have assured TorrentFreak that they will be returning any payments that they received as a result of the demand letters.

As far as Crossley is concerned, he is scheduled to be back in court on the 24th to explain this latest sequence of events. In the meantime, journalists have vowed to investigate Crossley’s car accident claims to make sure they’re valid.

It appears that ACS:Law is tumbling in a downward spiral of misconduct that they were no longer able to cover up. We’ll be watching to see what kind of odd turn this story might take next.

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