The Law Society spent roughly £150,000 on shutting down the website Solicitors from Hell but faces a latest setback as it has emerged that similar websites attacking UK firms are appearing online, with some said to be hosted abroad to protect them from the British authorities.
The websites Cowboy Solicitors and Solicitors from Hell 2 and a site that mimics the Law Society homepage but calls itself ‘Avoiding Bad Solicitors’ have all appeared online, as has Solicitorsfromhell.com, which is understood to be hosted abroad so that it cannot be banned by UK regulators.
However, Solicitorsfromhell.com’s registered address appears to be in Kent.
It follows the decision by Mr Justice Tugendhat last week to grant the Law Society injunctive relief and order the site, which claims to expose lawyers’ allegedly poor service, to be taken down (16 November 2011).
A domain name search for cowboysolicitors.com shows that the domain was created on 21 September this year, while solicitorsfromhell2.com was registered last Friday (18 November).
The web addresses for Solicitorsfromhell.com and Avoiding Bad Solicitors, however, appear to have been registered as far back as 2008.
It is understood that the owners of Solicitorsfromhell.com were supporters of the campaign by Solicitors from Hell owner Rick Kordowski to exposes solicitors’ alleged bad practice online.
A Law Society spokesperson said in a statement: “The Law Society is monitoring these sites but is not proposing to take action against them at present as they do not pose a danger to the public or the profession.”
Commenting on the cost of the action taken against Kordowski, the spokesperson added: “The Society understands Mr Kordowski has been sued for libel on at least 17 occasions, and over £170,000 in outstanding judgments and orders have accrued against him.
“The cost of the action was outweighed by the benefits of protecting members of the society, who would have had to meet the costs of individual libel actions themselves, and the best interest of the public.”
Kordowski said: “Up until recently it was perceived by the public that the Law Society were there to protect us all from rogue solicitors. This is clearly not the case and the penny has now dropped.
“There will be dozens more [sites] popping up in reaction to Mr Justice Tugendhat’s injunctions against me.”
Meanwhile, Tugendhat J has not yet handed down a written judgment following his verbal judgment last week.