Finally, disgraced lawyer Andrew Crossley is dealt with by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
The lawyer that brought shame on the legal profession by sending speculative letters to "illegal file sharers" has finally been sentenced by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
If you haven't been following our coverage, the cases brought against Andrew Crossley were decided in July 2011. An out of court settlement was reached between ACS:Law and the claimants (accused file sharers). The only issue remaining was how best to deal with Andrew Crossley. The charges being faced by Crossley:
1) Allowed his independence to be compromised
2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients
3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession
4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law
5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients
6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.
7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal handed down their judgment yesterday and decided that Crossleys conduct was deserving of a two year suspension from practising as a lawyer and ordered to pay costs of £76,326.55. Ouch.
As part of his mitigation (sob story), Crossley claimed that his world had fallen apart as a result of this whole unsavoury incident and he was facing bankruptcy and could not even afford legal representation for the hearing.
So it seems that justice has been done. Is the judgment too harsh? Not harsh enough? Let us know your thoughts.