Although there are now numerous services that enable ratings of services, Google is still one of the most important sources of information for consumers but also commercial customers, as it is in conjunction with Google search results and “Google for Business” is very present.
However, since Google reviews are not verified by Google itself and are thus also created with fake Google accounts, there is also a regular topic with Google reviews among IT lawyers. But agencies have also established themselves in the past, which not only want to offer the removal of unauthorized assessments very efficiently, but often also advertise to demand money only if successful. The latter is not allowed at all by a lawyer.
The Land Landgericht Hamburg recently put a major stop to these agencies, because it prohibits such an agency, which is not in fact a law firm, from deleting online reviews. Advice on whether an assessment is unlawful is a legal service.
The Agency’s description stated:
If there is a violation, we will contact Google directly and request that the reviews be deleted. […]
In addition, the agency advertised that the negative Google reviews were professionally reviewed and then initiated a removal.
The Landgericht denied admissibility under Section 5 of the Law on Legal Services, since the examination would not only be an insignificant ancillary service to an admissible service. In particular, the examination and prosecution of insults, untruths or ‘offensive’ content is a legal examination in individual cases which is only available to lawyers. The court therefore recognised a claim from the bar association in Hamburg, which was originally barbeque, from Paragraph 8(4) of the Court of Appeal. 1, paragraph 3 No. 2, No. Incidentally, the court did not allow the agency’s objection to cooperate with ‘house lawyers’ elsewhere.
The judgment is therefore somewhat reminiscent of the Smartlaw decision of the Regional Court of Cologne (see this article), which is why the current case law surrounding legal tech companies is likely to take a very different approach to the individual case, the way in which it is implemented. and the application arrives.