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ACS Law man tips up at new law firm

Another firm of London-based solicitors is set to grab its share of the anti-piracy pie and they've employed the services of a legal beagle who cut his teeth with bully-boy litigants ACS Law.

Cramer Pelmont Solicitors, a firm with offices in central and north London, confirmed to consumer watchdog Which? that it intends to take the fight to the file-sharers - and has enlisted the services of a former ACS Law employee to do it.

Trainee solicitor Terence Tsang previously worked as a paralegal at ACS, handling the outfit's volume file-sharing litigation, before joining Cramer Pelmont in April 2010.

Understandably, Tsang's new employer was keen to distance itself from ACS Law's antics, denying that it would employ the same tactic of "speculative invoicing".

ACS Law sent out more than 20,000 threatening letters to users alleged to have illegally shared files over peer-to-peer networks, demanding payments of £500 or more to avoid going to court.

The firm is currently the subject of an investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office over the outing of emails containing the names, addresses and credit card details of alleged file-sharers as a result of a hacking attack, dubbed "Operation Payback" on ACS Law's web site. If found negligent, the controversial company could face a fine of £500,000.

Explaining his firm's new venture, Dr Alex Brassley, a partner with Cramer Pelmont, said: "We are working with the film and music industry (strictly non-adult) in the development of an appropriate response to the Digital Economy Act, but I can assure you we have no intentions of taking any business model ideas from ACS Law."

Playing down Tsang's links with ACS, Brassley told reporters: "He is not under any contract with ACS Law and has not worked for them or with them since joining our firm."

But evidence has been uncovered that as recently as August, Tsang was trying to broker a deal between ACS Law and a supplier of information on IP addresses that stood to net him 2.5 per cent commission.

Tsang himself explained: "What I was doing was introducing a new data supplier to Andrew because he was having trouble with his current one. The deal did not go ahead because I turned it down - there was a conflict of interest."