Law firm gossip clearing house Firm Spy is back online today, one day after its account was shut down for unknown reasons.

The mysterious administrators behind FS declined to elaborate this morning as to why the notorious scuttlebutt forum was shut down, only telling Crikey it was not because of a defamatory post or the non-payment of hosting fees.

“This issue had the potential to completely shut us down but we’re pleased to be back online,” someone from the site said via email this morning. “It will be back to gossip as usual next week.”

As Crikey reported yesterday, the initial suspension came days after Arnold Bloch Leibler called for Firm Spy to remove a post because it linked the commercial law firm to pro-Hitler merchandise. Crikey contacted ABL this morning to ask if they were taking legal action on the matter but those calls were not returned.

But Firm Spy says the suspension had nothing to do with defamation and that, despite its reputation, the website seeks not to defame anyone.

“We do this because we want to be fair and reasonable, not simply because we want to avoid being sued (although we of course want this too),” they wrote.

Billing itself as a team of anonymous lawyers and bankers and popular in parts of the legal fraternity, Firm Spy specialises in publishing contentious and often unattributed memos, emails and gossip leaked from firms at the big end of town.

The site has come under attack in the past for the explosive and often personal nature of its posts, as well as its “publish first, ask questions later” approach. Last year, two of Australia’s big law firms banned employees from accessing the site, accusing it of being, amongst other things, “irresponsible and inaccurate”.

But despite a long list of potentially litigious enemies, the site insists it is yet to face charges of defamation. And even if it was to be sued, an FS administrator said, the site’s lack of resources would mean any judgement would be “empty”.

“Although we therefore ironically take some comfort in our appalling bank balances, we still absolutely strive not to defame anyone,” the administrator said.

In regards to inaccuracies or complaints, Firm Spy says on its website it aims to “ensure that all the information we publish is accurate and current” and it is happy to make corrections if any reports are inaccurate.

“Equally, if you disagree with our opinions or other aspects of our reportage, we’d be happy to publish your response or, if necessary, a correction,” the site states. “The last thing we’d want to do is defame anybody.”

Legal eagles contacted by Crikey today could not shed any more light on the matter, with one firm watcher saying pressure might come from any one of the big firms.

When pressed for more information, Firm Spy declined to comment, telling Crikey it had promised the story to another media outlet.