Microsoft has appointed Mishcon de Reya to lead its fight against piracy, ahead of rival panel firms Linklaters and Covington & Burling.

Mishcons is advising the software giant on the first UK suits ever filed against ‘spammers’, the senders of junk email.

Head of litigation Kasra Nouroozi and assistant Ben Gallagher at Mishcons are advising Microsoft on its ‘Digital Integrity’ project, an initiative aimed at destroying software piracy.

Microsoft, which has also launched 13 civil suits in the US, has launched two suits against individuals in the UK using the Misuse of Computers Act. Microsoft attorney Jean-Christophe Le Toquin alleged: “The two individuals are not strictly spammers but harvesters. They’ve hacked our servers to get a list of email addresses. This is the first civil action based on the act.”

The Misuse of Computers Act has previously been used in criminal proceedings in the fight against child pornography.

There are no laws to guard against spamming in the UK. Other courses of action might include using trespassing laws, as spammers often invade a server, or using misrepresentation and fraud laws due to the fact that they conceal their email identities.