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Solicitors From Hell founder wins surprise High Court victory

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Warby J: “not fanciful” to believe that Mr Kordowski could succeed

He has been sued 18 times in relation to the website he founded, and lost each time, but now Rick Kordowski, the man behind SolicitorsFromHell.co.uk, has recorded an unexpected High Court win.

Representing himself, Mr Kordowski successfully applied to set aside a judgment in default and injunction imposed on him by Mr Justice Stuart-Smith.

The High Court heard how Mr Kordowski along with Daniel Beach, were sued by a law firm, identified only as QRS, for publishing “offensive and vilifying content” on a number of websites, including a Solicitors From Hell (SFH) successor referred to as XYZ.net, and for pursuing a course of conduct amounting to harassment.

Mrs Justice Slade granted the law firm’s application for interim injunctions [2]against the two men in August. The following month Mr Justice Stuart-Smith granted the firm’s application for permanent injunctions and judgment in default.

However, Mr Kordowski subsequently claimed that he had nothing to do with the construction and publication of any of the websites listed, and that he had transferred ownership of XYZ.net in December 2011, having nothing to do with it thereafter.

Delivering judgment in QRS v Beach and Kordowski [] EHWC 4189 (QB), Mr Justice Warby said “the evidence put before the court by the claimant stated, without contradiction, that Mr Kordowski had been sued on 18 occasions” in relation to SFH, and that “no case was known in which he had been successful”.

Warby J went on: “For years he provided an outlet for the expression of his own and others’ grudges against solicitors and other legal professionals in a form which involved the harassment of large numbers of individuals.

“His operation of the SFH.co.uk site was oppressive and unlawful and his conduct in proceedings which flowed from his operation of that site was clearly, on occasion at least, vexatious and abusive of the process.”

Against that, Warby J bore in mind that in all of the previous cases Mr Kordowski had admitted publishing the offending material, while if he had indeed been operating XYZ.net, he would have been in breach of the injunctions granted against him in the in November 2011.

Although it was “highly improbable” that Mr Kordowski had nothing to do with XYZ.net, it was “not fanciful” to envisage that his arguments could succeed. The judge reached a similar conclusion in respect of Mr Kordowski’s alleged involvement in creating Mr Beach’s websites and the content on them.

The case against Mr Kordowski was not “so overwhelming as to compel rejection of what he says as unreal”.

The judge concluded “by a marrow margin” that Mr Kordowski had a “real prospect of successfully defending the claim”.