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ACS: Law solicitor Andrew Crossley suspended by SRA

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ACS: Law solicitor Andrew Crossley suspended by SRA

 

Andrew Crossley, the controversial solicitor who sent thousands of letters to alleged illegal file-sharers, has been suspended from the profession for two years.

 

At a disciplinary tribunal he was also ordered to pay costs of £76,326.55.

 

The court heard how Mr Crossley used his law firm ACS: Law to demand money in recompense for alleged copyright infringements. Read more....

 

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/in-practice/sdt-decisions/andrew-jonathan-crossley


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You really have to feel for him. He was only out to make a living. Now where are my pills :whoo:


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:mad2:Hi SF if anyone ever felt sorry for him I think

they need more than pills.


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To be suspended for two years is a disgrace. He should have been struck off. I bet the costs don't get paid either.


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No doubt the parasite will appear like the Phoenix and rise from the ashes like he did the last time. This is the second time he's been suspended and third time up in front of the SRA. :(


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No doubt the parasite will appear like the Phoenix and rise from the ashes like he did the last time. This is the second time he's been suspended and third time up in front of the SRA. :(

 

It beggars belief doesnt it :(


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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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The solicitor who represented the SRA at the tribunal echoed those sentiments:

 

“I think professionally Mr Crossley's prospects are limited for some while to come.

Thanks again for your help, without assistance from members of the public these kinds of cases can become something of a paper exercise and lose the impact of how much such unsavoury activities can affect people.”

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Would any law firm ever employ this man again??


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Would any law firm ever employ this man again??

Bryan Carter!


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Bryan Carter!

I had a similar thought a DCA trying to make a ''legal''

department look professional:madgrin:


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Would any law firm ever employ this man again??

 

He opened his own firm.... twice.


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I suppose there is some EU drivel that's says it's

against his Umam Rites he must be allowed to

carry on again after 2 years.


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Could not happen to a nicer guy. He has caused undue trauma to so many innocent people, perhaps he may now appreciate a little of what he made so many suffer. Perhaps MPs may now realise the problems of their ill thought out Digital Economy Act.

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The SRA is a laughing stock, more like the Solicitors' Resurrection Association than any so-called 'regulatory' authority.

 

This low-life was hauled before it once before for misconduct; this time, he's in front of it at a time when a senior Judge was heavily critical of his conduct and the transparent stunt of trying to cancel a Court hearing because he knew the bull**** cases he had brought were never going to succeed. He should've been fined heavily by the Information Commissioner but escaped scot-free on the basis -- I think -- that he had no money (he filed for bankruptcy last year.)

 

Crossley doesn't have to look for work with any other law firm; he's more than capable of setting up yet again his own -- he just needs a phone line, an accommodation address (preferably one that lets him use a fancy-looking letter head) and that's it.

 

So the question is: can a bankrupt twice-suspended lawyer ever get back into work as a solicitor again?

 

And the answer?

 

Yes. Of course he can. The Solicitors Resurrection Association has just shown itself determined as ever to revive and sustain the career of even the most obvious exemplar of conduct unbecoming. The sooner we stop lawyers policing their own in the same way that we're --hopefully --about to stop the Press from policing its own, the better.

 

On which basis, it may now be about time for CAG to petition for exactly that: there's nothing special or remotely sacrosanct about lawyers -- as the Crossley case proves.

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ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley has been suspended for Two years and fined had costs awarded against him of over £70,000.

The lead ringmaster of a Copyright Trolls/Speculative Invoicing campaign he admitted to Six Charges levelled at him by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. (Here is a Brief History of Speculative Invoicing)

Crossley ADMITTED the following charges: (1 ,2 ,3, 4, 5, and 6, no#7 was dropped)

1) Allowed his independence to be compromised

2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients

3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession

4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law

5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients

6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.

7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.

Crossley gave the Court Testimonials, like Character references from people who knew him… these included

(And by Crossleys own admission,
the man who wrote the SRA Rules
)

Alistair Logan OBE
– His ex partners father!

Raymond Murphy – senior solicitor at Merriman White
(Himself subject of a SDT Tribunal)

Mark West – a barrister and recorder

Edward Parladorio
– (Terence Tsangs new employer)

David Fisher – Birchwood –
( Part of the GCB debacle)

Mark Beresford

Nicolas Underwood – “Ray Santilli – Orbital Media

Clive Windsor

Oh and Lee Bowden of Piri Ltd…

Also Crossley stated the he had been offered FIVE different positions recently but he could not take FOUR them as the firms could not get insurance, the other firm withdrew when the circumstances surrounding these issue were known.

One other snippet is that Crossley has NOT paid his £800 fine from the ICO. The Fine was £1000, but was reduced by 20% for a prompt payment, this it seems did not happen, and so he would still owe a £1000 (Maybe part of the bankruptcy)

This was Andrew Crossleys THIRD appearance before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, (First one here) (Second one here) one wonders what it would take to protect the public from a bag legal situation. The Law Society put “Solicitors from Hell” website offline, saying they would deal with bad legal situations, I have to say personally, for the now nearly THREE years I and many others have been involved fighting this corner this punishment does NOT fit the bill…..

UPDATE 1: According to “The Lawyer” Crossley claimed that his internet service provider (ISP) had been negligent, adding that he intended to sue the provider when he had more money. Good luck with that one!

UPDATE 2: Mike Wallace (Darker Enterprises) in writing at the hearing. “ACS Law has helped us significantly in the last few months, we have also seen a small increase in DVD sales. In looking through various internet forums, we’ve seen them having an effect on filesharers.” Hmmmm, treated with contempt it deserves I think is the word here!

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Yes, because a lot of the filesharing sites are now running scared, even usually 'open' ones such as 4shared have closed lots of folders and only allow the original poster to store their own information at the moment.

 

As people have said, isn't it about time Uncles Bryan and Alistair have their fingers rapped with a ruler by the SRA for their role in the 'solicitors for rent; field.

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Mike Wallace (Darker Enterprises) in writing at the hearing. “ACS Law has helped us significantly in the last few months, we have also seen a small increase in DVD sales. In looking through various internet forums, we’ve seen them having an effect on filesharers.
I wonder on what evidence they base that statement? Besides from the fact the DVD/CD sales would obviously increase because it was the run-up to Xmas, how would they know what downloads have occurred, legal or otherwise, from the myriad of forums both open & closed to the public?

 

Bovine excrement springs to mind. ;)


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How wonderful that the whiter-than-white Mr Crossley should think something called Darker Enterprises is an appropriate source of endorsement at a disciplinary hearing. And yes, of course, Darker Enterprises has seen sales of its DVDs soar in major retailers and supermarkets all across the UK -- oh, wait, sorry: Darker Enterprises doesn't have access to such outlets. So one has only Darker Enterprises' word for this trading boost.

 

Well done, Andrew! You're doing as wonderful a job on rehabilitating your professional reputation as you were before you somehow, in some way, managed to lose that reputation. . .:-D

 

* Does anyone have any information on what our illustrious ICO is doing about the absolutely massive, er, uh, £800 fine it slapped on Crossley should that fine currently be unpaid?

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How wonderful that the whiter-than-white Mr Crossley should think something called Darker Enterprises is an appropriate source of endorsement at a disciplinary hearing. And yes, of course, Darker Enterprises has seen sales of its DVDs soar in major retailers and supermarkets all across the UK -- oh, wait, sorry: Darker Enterprises doesn't have access to such outlets. So one has only Darker Enterprises' word for this trading boost.

 

Well done, Andrew! You're doing as wonderful a job on rehabilitating your professional reputation as you were before you somehow, in some way, managed to lose that reputation. . .:-D

 

* Does anyone have any information on what our illustrious ICO is doing about the absolutely massive, er, uh, £800 fine it slapped on Crossley should that fine currently be unpaid?

 

It was £800 if paid promptly but that never happend.

Probably paying it off at £5 a month as he has no assets LOL

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I'm not sure about that, SG. The usual situation is that a solicitor goes bankrupt and is then suspended because of that bankruptcy. His / her practising certificate may be restored by the SRA on application by the bankrupt solicitor. But Crossley isn't a 'usual' case: his bankruptcy occurred in the midst of an SRA investigation and was incidental to the reasons for that investigation.

 

Of course, it might be -- and what a delicious irony! -- that Crossley's bankruptcy was astonishingly convenient for him in light of the data protection breach and the otherwise massive fine he would've had to pay. Given what is already known about his personality and character, it's not difficult to imagine him smiling with relief that the ICO imposed such a modest penalty. That relief would doubtless have been compounded by the finite nature of his suspension: only two years.

 

But ironically, it's the bankruptcy itself which is going to prove more critical to Crossley's downfall than anything else, because regardless of the finite 2-year suspension, the SRA still won't let him practice after that. . . because he is a bankrupt (and has creditors including no less than the SRA itself, to whom he owes £76,000.)

 

So although Crossley seems to have but one suspension to contend with, requiring only that he must sit out the next couple of years, there's actually a second and concurrent suspension that hasn't been publicised by the SRA but which kicked in automatically with his bankruptcy. And it's that second suspension which causes the longterm problem because it has no fixed end-date: he has to apply to the SRA after being discharged from bankruptcy in hope they'll let him practice again.

 

The SRA is fully aware it will look more like a circus clown than a regulatory authority if it proceeds to re-licence a legal practitioner who owes it £76,000 in costs for previous disciplinary offences. It also knows it will have everyone from MPs to journalists to forums such as this crawling all over it should it approve Crossley's application, because the SRA is duty-bound to abide by its own procedure in a matter such as this, viz:

 

1) It must be satisfied that the applicant is of good character, and:

 

2) It must be satisfied that the applicant is capable of honestly and efficiently managing client accounts and client monies; and:

 

3) It must be satisfied that the applicant is now capable of running a practice whose financial and accounting procedures are consistent with SRA requirements.

 

Even if it is satisfied, the SRA may only grant a 'restricted' licence, the terms of which would prevent the applicant from becoming a sole trader (as was the case with ACS:Law) and would instead insist that he/she serve only as an employee of a practice with no access to or control over that practice's client accounts / client funds.

 

Where (1) is concerned, it's going to be incredibly difficult for the SRA to pronounce favourably on Crossley's character bearing in mind the damning public criticism he received from the judge in the failed Norwich Pharmaceuticals file sharing case;

 

where (2) and (3) are concerned, the SRA will need no reminding that previous to Crossley's recent troubles, he had already been censured by the SRA for an, er, inability to run a law firm in a manner consistent with the requirement to exercise good accounting practice.

 

The situation would therefore seem to be that Crossley's bankruptcy has saved him from the full weight of punishment by an utterly supine ICO but has simultaneously plunged him into much deeper doo-dah as far as the SRA is concerned.

 

Technically, he can emerge from bankruptcy after one year (though outstanding liabilities will have to be addressed during those 12 months if Crossley was to earn anything, from any source) and yes, his credit history will be 'cleansed' after six years.

 

But really, that all seems pretty academic. Though I still think that the SRA behaved in the most idiotic fashion imaginable by suspending Crossley rather than striking him off, the problems arising from his bankruptcy -- not his conduct -- are such as to mean his future prospects in the legal profession are not so much slim as downright grim.

 

After all: even if the SRA consents to him returning to Law after he is discharged from bankruptcy, he wouldn't be allowed to start up as a sole trader anyway but would have to be an employee in another practice. And though I've no doubt that there may well be a law practice somewhere which couldn't care less about being judged on the basis of the company it keeps, it's clear that the vast majority certainly do care.

 

I seem to remember Crossley saying some time ago that what he really wanted to do in life was play the guitar in a rock band. Although he was so demonstrably out of tune with what the legal profession expects, there is, perhaps, some band somewhere touring regional pubs for Saturday night gigs that might wish to chuck a few bob his way.

 

But of course, Crossley would have to make damn sure that the band paid fees for performing the work of others -- he is, indeed, a man of principle . . .:-D

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A most informative post - and backs up my conclusion.

 

Why though do I suddenly get an image of Jack Black in Tenatious D and the Pick of Destiny at the mention of Andrew Crossley playing rock guitar, perhaps he will have one of those fancy guitars in the shape of a £ sign.....

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Luvvly thought, SG. But before Crossley did something like that, he'd be well advised to contact a solicitor who knows something about copyright and rights holders. I'm not sure if he's ever come across anyone with that kind of expertise but it ought to be easy enough to discover if a guitar that looks like a £ sign is a breach of someone else's rights.

 

One can't be careful enough nowadays and it'd be a shame if Crossley suddenly received a letter out of the blue threatening him with Court action unless he paid up immediately. But then, he could always come here to CAG for advice as to the direction he should follow in this matter and many of us would be willing to tell him just where to go.

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