It was a legal first when Rupinder Bains and her firm won a landmark order against Facebook last year.
Acting for a female client on a pro-bono basis after police did not take action, Bains and her team won an order against the social networking giant forcing it to reveal the identities of internet trolls who targeted the 46-year old mother with cruel messages. As well as giving the victim the opportunity to pursue private prosecutions against the online bullies, who set up a fake Facebook profile in her name, branded her a paedophile and posted her address online, the ruling sent a strong message to online bullies that their identity can, and will, be exposed.
Believed to be the first of its kind, the order marked a huge triumph not only for Bains and her client but also for other victims of online abuse. A UK survey commissioned by Pinder Reaux revealed that over half of 16-40 year olds had received some form of abuse via electronic communication, with only 14 per cent reporting the problem to police. “We often hear about celebrities who have been stalked online, but this is not just a ‘celebrity crime’,” wrote Bains in a blog after she spoke at the House of Lords earlier this year. “This is happening every single day to everyday normal people and it must be stopped.”
The firm and the client have since parted company.
This was not the only victory for Bains, who took on the title of managing director after Bains Cohen was rebranded to Pinder Reaux & Associates in November. The family, divorce and internet specialist is also campaigning for fairer divorce settlements, proving she is one to watch, with a book on the subject in the making.