In the Media

Rupinder Bains acted pro bono for woman targeted by internet ?trolls?

PUBLISHED June 27, 2012

Thursday 28 June 2012 by Jonathan Rayner

Who? Rupinder Bains, 37, internet defamation partner at City and Essex firm Bains Cohen.

Why is she in the news? Acted pro bono for a woman to secure a High Court order requiring Facebook to reveal the identities of internet 'trolls' who had targeted her with malicious messages.

Bains relied on a Norwich Pharmacal order, normally used in civil proceedings to make a company or individual disclose information about another's alleged wrongdoing, to force Facebook to divulge the trolls' identities. This is the first time the order has been used in a criminal case.

Bains told the Gazette: 'Once we have the names, either the Crown Prosecution Service will take up the reins or we will bring a private prosecution under the Protection from Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act or the Communications Act.'

Thoughts on the case: 'Exciting and groundbreaking. We were originally instructed just to get the Facebook page taken down, but we have now served an order on Facebook because we want the trolls' email addresses and internet service provider. Facebook has four to six weeks to collate the data. This type of abuse must be stamped down upon hard: some victims have committed suicide.'

Route to the case: 'We are known as a specialist internet defamation firm.'

Why become a lawyer? 'I like to plan, strategise and think outside the box. No two days are the same.'

Career high: 'The firm was shortlisted for three 2010 Law Society Excellence Awards - marketing, client care and innovation.'

Career low: 'I was two months into my first training contract when my training principal disappeared to the Bahamas with the client account money. The firm was promptly intervened in and I thought my short career in the law was over.'