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ACS Law hit by data leak

28 September 2010

Computer hackers have obtained large amounts of confidential data from anti-file sharing solicitors ACS Law, which was then published on the Swedish website The Pirate Bay.

The leaked material has been reported to include evidence that the law firm earned thousands of pounds from a letter-writing campaign on behalf of copyright owners, together with emails by ACS Law’s principal Andrew Crossley discussing the possible purchase of a Ferrari, according to several websites claiming to have seen the data.

Crossley was referred to the SDT last month, following complaints by consumer organisation Which? that he sent thousands of letters to people accusing them of illegal file sharing and threatening them with legal action unless they paid £500 (see Sole practitioner referred to SDT over computer file sharing 25 August 2010).

On the law firm’s website, which was not accessible today, Crossley has denied accusing people of copyright infringement or demanding payment in his initial letters.

A spokesman for the SRA said it was aware that the data leak had taken place and was still investigating ACS Law.

“The fact that a firm has been referred to the SDT does not stop us from adding further allegations,” he said.

The spokesman added that the SDT hearing was unlikely to take place until next year.

It was reported that the names and addresses of over 5,000 Sky broadband customers had been published on Pirate Bay, together with a list of porn films they were alleged by ACS Law to have downloaded and shared.

A further 1,000 confidential emails appeared on the website, whose managers were found guilty of copyright infringement in Sweden last year.

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Risk & Compliance Company, Consumer, and Contract Professional negligence Clinical negligence Road traffic