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Apology for solicitor 'from hell'

2 June 2010

The founder of a website which invites disgruntled clients to vent their spleen has escaped huge damages after his first libel threat ended in settlement.

Solicitor Scott Eason agreed to waive claims for up to £100,000 damages in his High Court action against in exchange for a full apology.

Leading libel firm Carter-Ruck, representing Mr Eason, published the apology in full and announced the settlement would ensure the website could never publish similar criticisms of the firm again.

In the apology to Mr Eason, website owner Rick Kordowski said: “I did not know at the time of publication that the allegations were false, but I now understand they are.

“On that basis, they should never have been published.

“I have taken the allegations down from my website and agreed not to republish anything about you or your firm again.”

The year-old website was set up to offer unhappy clients a forum in which they could blacklist firms.

Kordowski has admitted he accepts payments from firms who want their names removed from the site.

In a statement published through Carter-Ruck, Mr Eason said: “I am happy and relieved that this case has now settled.

“I felt very strongly about what was published about me and I could not allow the allegations to remain on the internet.

“I initially wrote to Mr Kordowski myself asking for the allegations to be taken down, but he refused to do this without payment.

“As a matter or principle, I refused to pay Mr Kordowski any money and he left me with no option but to issue libel proceedings against him.

“I am glad that Mr Kordowski has accepted the allegations are false, taken them down from his website and apologised to me.”

The lawyer, a principal at the North-East firm Eason Law, dropped his claim for thousands of pounds in damages after it became clear Mr Kordowski had no means to pay.

In his apology, Mr Kordowski added: “I understand that, as I have no funds, you have kindly agreed to waive your entitlement to damages and costs.

“I am sorry for the embarrassment and distress the allegations have caused you to suffer.”

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Risk & Compliance Procedures Local government Courts & Judiciary