nk497 writes: A UK legal watchdog has claimed lawyers who sent out letters demanding settlement payments from alleged file-sharers knew they would end up hitting innocent people. The Solicitors Regulators Authority said the two Davenport Lyons lawyers "knew that in conducting generic campaigns against those identified as IP holders whose IP numeric had been used for downloading or uploading of material that they might in such generic campaigns be targeting people innocent of any copyright breach." The SRA also said the two lawyers lost their independence because they convinced right holders to allow them to act on their behalf by waiving hourly fees and instead taking a cut of the settlements. The pair earned £150,000 of the £370,000 collected from alleged file-sharers. Because they were looking to recoup their own costs, the lawyers ignored clients' concerns about the negative publicity the letter campaign could — and eventually did — cause, the SRA claimed.