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Anti-piracy partners at the SDT today

31 May 2011

Davenport Lyons partner David Gore and former partner Brian Miller are appearing at the SDT today, at the start of a seven-day hearing into claims that thousands of letters they sent out as part of an internet anti-piracy drive broke professional conduct rules.

Tim Dutton QC, former chairman of the Bar Council, is leading the prosecution for the SRA (see solicitorsjournal.com, 9 May 2011).

The SRA alleges that between 2006 and 2009 Gore and Miller sent thousands of letters accusing web users of illegal file-sharing, even though they knew there was insufficient evidence to support some of the claims.

Most of the letters asked recipients to pay around £500 in compensation to the firm’s clients, plus costs, to avoid court proceedings.

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain is acting for the men, who will be represented at the tribunal by Michael Pooles QC of Hailsham Chambers.

“All the allegations made by the SRA are denied by our clients and they will be strongly disputed at the final hearing,” a spokesman for RPC said.

“We should emphasise that it is denied that Mr Gore and Mr Miller have acted unprofessionally or that there is any basis for allegations being brought against them.”

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Andrew Crossley, principal of now defunct ACS Law, is to appear at the SDT for a brief directions hearing on Friday this week.

The allegations relate to the sending out of thousands of speculative letters asking people to pay compensation or face court action for alleged copyright breaches.

ACS Law closed in February this year after complaints from individuals and consumer body Which?

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