Andrew Crossley, the lawyer behind the now infamous ACS:Law firm, which used controversial tactics to pursue alleged illegal file sharers, has been suspended from practising law for two years and ordered to pay costs of more than £70,000.
A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London on Monday found the 2011 ISPA Internet Villain award winner guilty on seven counts, including that he acted against the best interests of his clients and allowed his independence to be compromised.
ACS:Law was responsible for sending letters to alleged copyright infringers in 2011, demanding payment on behalf of his clients under the threat of court action.
However, no cases ever made it to full trial, with Crossley himself dropping the majority before they got to the evidence stage, claiming that he feared for the safety of his family.
The law firm also got into trouble with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after it was found that the firm had accidentally exposed the details of 6,000 people, for which Crossley was fined £1,000 instead of a potential £200,000 bill, as the company had technically ceased trading.
Crossley was ordered to pay costs of around £76,000 by the tribunal on Monday after it found him guilty of all seven charges.
The decision will be seen as another victory for law firm Ralli, which is representing many of those targeted by Crossley, as they seek financial compensation for the harassment they suffered at the hands of ACS:Law.
The decision comes as supporters and opponents of robust anti-piracy legislation square up once again, this time in the US, as opposition to the controversial SOPA legislation grows.
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