The fight between the Law Society and Solicitors from Hell website owner Rick Kordowski has taken a further twist with Kordowski launching a defamation claim against Law Society chief executive Des Hudson.
It comes as the Law Society today confirmed that it will launch a group action against Kordowski on behalf of 150,000 solicitors based in England and Wales for defamation, harassment and breach of the Data Protection Act (16 August 2011).
Kordowski is yet to defeat a single libel action brought against him by a firm but says he is committed to fighting through the courts to preserve his site. The website gives consumers the opportunity to name and shame lawyers who they allege have provided poor service.
The Law Society first mooted action against the site in May (11 May 2011) after High Court judge Mr Justice Henrique said that both the Law Society and Bar Council should investigate defamation complaints about the website (18 April 2011).
Brett Wilson named partner Iain Wilson has instructed Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC to pursue the case for the Law Society. Tomlinson achieved fame earlier this year when he represented several high-profile celebrities, including footballer Ryan Giggs, in their efforts to bring injunctions against the tabloid press (6 June 2011).
Meanwhile, Kordowski is claiming £1m in damages from Hudson after he allegedly labelled him a “criminal” when speaking to John Flood of the University of Westminster at BBC studios.
Kordowski, who will represent himself in the action, said: “It’s hypocritical of the Law Society to be encouraging defamation claims against me whilst at the same time ignoring the publication of an indefensible slander by the chief executive.
“The Law Society is currently threatening to sue me on behalf of itself and all 150,000 solicitors in England and Wales. That is no justification for allowing its chief executive to defame me.”
A Law Society spokesperson said: “Rick Kordowski has confirmed to us that he does intend to issue proceedings against Desmond Hudson for slander. Liability is completely denied and if proceedings are issued we’ll apply to strike them out.”