Yair Cohen and Cohen Davis acted on my behalf after I had been subjected to a 13 year campaign of online and offline harassment that started in 2005 and would be continuing today, had I not called Cohen Davis and spoken with Yair in late 2015. (The perpetrator continued during the litigation, so it was 13 years in total). It ended at the High Court of Justice in July 2018. I had met the perpetrator online and went on four dates with him and realised that we were not right for each other and subsequently ended it. Then, the harassment began and it involved him creating at least 15 malicious websites about me, bearing my name as domain names in every permutation. They were full of untruths, with sexual connotations and indicated that I was a person of low values and these sites were escalating by the year. The perpetrator continually maintained and updated these websites to reflect my life, like getting married and having a baby. He impersonated me on Twitter and created Google banner advertisements about me that appeared at the top of Google, with my photograph and name with derogatory comments. There was so much more.
It is important to note also, that I was not on Facebook or any other Social Media site (until he impersonated me on them) and so, I hadn't any information about me online that he could access, so his research was extensive in tracking down family and friends and writing to them too. This was only half of what he inflicted on me because he harassed me offline, too. He hijacked my life, my career, my feelings of safety (for my family and friends, too) and my voice. For all of that time, the police, solicitors, MPs, Google, domain registry sites, private investigators....anyone...told me that they could not help me (nor had any suggestions what to do) because he lived and changed addresses overseas and until he physically harmed me, there was nothing that could be done. I was desperate and fearful and searched online over and over throughout the years, seeking help and then through typing 'Best Internet Lawyer' or something similar into Google (because at that point, I knew that I needed the best to stand any chance of getting him to stop), I found Yair.
The moment that I spoke with Yair, I felt relief. I didn't have to explain, as I had done in so many years to blank faces and confused voices at the other end of the phone. When everyone else had been saying, 'What do you want me to do?', Yair told me what he could do - he is so approachable, honest, compassionate and I knew that he really cared. Just by having a conversation with him, I knew that there was light at the end of the tunnel and I finally felt that there was help out there!.
Subsequently, along with the indelible assistance of the barrister Gabor Bognar, who acted under the Pro Bono Unit and also Gervase de Wilde, Cohen Davis were able to help (on a no win no fee basis). Suddenly, I had this amazing legal team and it felt incredulous.
I think that is important to say that not only does Yair understand the internet, as well as the law, (Cohen Davis are entirely dedicated to internet law), he also stand outs because of his integrity and that is permeated throughout the company. They kept me informed of everything and were so open and honest and I wasn't ever left wondering what was happening, quashing all apprehensions, during the litigation. I could access my file at any time of the day and night too, due to their brilliant, unique online teamwork program. It took 18 months to bring it all to an end. It could all have gone very differently and I feel incredibly blessed.
It was a challenging and complex case and the perpetrator lived overseas and when he was traced, he denied it was him (despite the evidence). It wasn't just a case of getting him to accept responsibility though because he and his solicitors really tried to find holes in my case throughout the process. They used intimidation (and this felt like a continuation of the harassment) and said the offences were too old but they were current because he was continually maintaining the websites, despite some of them having been created over a decade ago. They then admitted it because of the huge amount of evidence that we had (112 exhibits, if I can remember correctly), but said that it wasn't exactly a criminal offence. There were all sorts of arguments that their lawyers tried to put forward on their clients’ behalf but Cohen Davis were so reassuring.
I cannot imagine what would have happened had my case not been put together properly. I had this one chance, after feeling isolated and harassed for over 13 years and the other side were doing their absolute best to bully me into submission and had I not had Cohen Davis acting on my behalf, I really don't know what the outcome would have been. I wouldn't have been as fortified without my legal team and along the way, I felt reassured and supported - I knew that I had the best team on my side. That is why, if anyone is going through online harassment, I would absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend them going to Cohen Davis.
I can truly say that I have a perpertual gratitude to all of my legal team. My perpetrator had no intention to stop his escalating campaign of harassment against me.
Cohen Davis gave me back my life, my feelings of safety, my career and my voice - and I am not saying that lightly! Thank you.
Lindsey Goldrick Dean