We seem to have found some good solicitors.
Both myself, and my colleague Alex, have used them on personal matters and as a company we have now had some advice from them.
As with most people, encountering solicitors is rare, so difficult to form an opinion. Encountering other people's solicitors is less rare and usually one forms an opinion quickly and not necessarily favourably :-)
So far I am impressed.
We had a case a while ago where a Dr Godfrey was threatening legal action against us for defamation allegedly committed by one of our customers via usenet. It was long ago, and we did not even run the usenet server at the time (uunet did). The whole thing caused us some real hassle as uunet pulled our (only) transit feed with no explanation, apparently because of threats they then received. It took most of a day to reconnect it, and only after we assured them the person was not a customer any more (his wife was by then, so it was a true statement even though nothing had changed technically). That is all water under the bridge now, but at the time we did take legal advice (not from Kite Griffin) and the instant reaction was advice for us to disconnect the customer!
My reading of the legislation at that time (and it has changed since) was that if we did something knowing it may have resulted in more (alleged) defamatory comment we could make ourselves liable, but otherwise we were in no way liable as we simply provided the connectivity. So we did not disconnect the customer's line (even though, later on, we did, by agreement, change the name on the account). We knew that disconnecting him would piss him off and more posts would be made, and that he had many means to access usenet at the time, not just via us (so disconnection would not serve to stop further posts anyway).
Now, this time, we have some implication of possible action for defamation from LSM over my blog posts. Not quite outright "we will sue you" stuff, but "talking to my solicitor" and so on. Enough to be a concern.
I was really quite impressed that Kite Griffin's reply was not an instant "take down the blog post" response. They rightly say that this is a specialist area, best resolved without legal action, and amicably if you can, and that they would take a look for us. They have since said that my blog posts seem very fair and unlikely to be a problem. They went in to some detail and provided what seems to be very sensible advice.
This is what we need - not someone jumping to conclusions or suggesting the "safe route" all the time, but giving careful considered advice on matters. They know the law way better than any of us (with our "facebook law degrees"). I can see us using them much more over time.
On the personal matters they seem efficient and reasonably priced.
Finding a good solicitor is going to be really useful, I am sure. And they are really local (Bracknell town centre).
Oddly solicitors don't seem to do a lot of advertising, so I hope a positive blog post like this is good for them.
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