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Court order takes Solicitors from Hell off line

16 November 2011

Solicitors from Hell, the website set up by Rick Kordowski to report solicitors he alleged had provided inadequate service, has shut down after a court order yesterday.

The High Court’s order to “cease, forthwith, to publish the website” brings to an end proceedings started by the Law Society to protect the interest of the legal profession and of the wider public because the site was "not a credible source of reliable information about solicitors", according to Chancery Lane.

Kordowski has been sued for defamation on at least 17 occasions, the Law Society said, with more than £170,000 in outstanding judgments and orders accrued against him.

In a written response to Solicitors Journal following a settlement with Hickman & Rose in February, Kordowski said: “I don’t intend to pay anyone. (I have no money nor assets.)”

Solicitors from Hell initially offered lawyers listed on the site the option to have critical comments removed for a £299 fee. This was dropped after the settlement with Hickman & Rose, with Kordowski saying it was a publicity stunt.

Solicitors Journal records show that five libel cases against Kordowski reached the courts.

Among them were Juliet Farrall, a solicitor at McCormacks, who was awarded £10,000 in damages in February, and Megan Phillips, a solicitor at Bhatt Murphy, who was awarded £17,500 in damages plus £28,000 in costs in October last year.

Law Society chief executive Des Hudson said Solicitors from Hell served “simply as a vehicle for pursuing personal grudges and vendettas against conscientious and reputable firms and legal professionals. Far from being of any help to consumers, it has been a danger.”

He went on: “Some excellent firms have been listed on the website, and exclusion from the site has more often than not been a matter of whether a firm has been prepared to pay a fee to have the listing removed. I feared the website was directing people in real need of help away from professionals best placed to assist them.”