Special Branch warns lawyers to carry personal attack alarms

Lawyers have been forced to take extreme measures to protect themselves against attacks from animal activists, including carrying personal attack alarms and taking alternative routes home.

Law firm Lawson-Cruttenden & Co is making interim injunction applications on behalf of companies including Huntingdon Life Sciences and Bayer to stop harassment from animal activists. The firm has introduced the measures after being advised to do so by Special Branch.

Activists set up a website encouraging campaigners to target two judges and their relatives. The website, which provided the names and addresses of their victims (The Lawyer, 23 February), was removed last week after police intervened.

Lawson-Cruttenden claims that since October, it has been subjected to “silent telephone calls”, windows smashed and “computer viruses, which far exceed the [number of] viruses normally suffered in the ordinary course [of business]”.

Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, the sole partner at Lawson-Cruttenden, said: “I have the right not to be harassed and the right to privacy. I tolerate their right to put their views in court, but their current actions are fundamentally illiberal.”

Activists placed the name and address of Lawson-Cruttenden, his father and his brother alongside the judges and their relatives on the disbanded website. Lawson-Cruttenden also claims that activists have threatened to blackmail him by releasing alleged lurid details of his past.