Reputations take years to build but can be destroyed quickly with only a few ill-chosen words. The law relating to libel has been substantially changed by the Defamation Act 2013 and clients in need of assistance in this area will need professional advisors experienced in libel and its related fields.
It’s not just those individuals or businesses known by the public that become victims of defamation. Any company, group or individual can find themselves in a position where they need to vigorously protect their reputation. When the defamation is put into writing or pictures it becomes libel. When the defamation is spoken (it can include conduct and gesture) it is slander.
Defamation, Libel and Slander
Defamation is the generic term for both libel and slander. A defamatory statement is one that is likely to make people think worse of an individual or business or exposes them to hatred, ridicule or contempt. Examples of defamation could be allegations of dishonesty, criminality, immorality or financial misconduct.
Defences against defamation
Defamation is not straightforward to define or defend. A simple definition is when someone else’s words are likely to cause substantial, hurt, damage or harm to a person's reputation which cause them to be discredited or exposed to ridicule.
Defamation can prove very expensive to dispute and defend. At the outset, clients need clear guidance on the full range of options and the financial and personal cost implications of each route.
We have a long history working with high profile clients who employ us to protect and defend them rigorously when sensitive defamation events occur. We guard our client’s information with fervor and we recognise the importance of not only discretion but also maintaining an unwavering sense of calm under pressure.
In a world where news travels across international boundaries at a breathtaking speed, whether the issue is being defamed in the press, in social media or if the issue relates to the threat of personal information being made public, it’s imperative to have experienced and effective representation available to act quickly.
We draw on our multidisciplinary teams from key practice areas including, Intellectual Property, Corporate, Employment, Sports law, Commercial, Property and Litigation.
- Advising on whether material is defamatory
- Advising on whether there are grounds for action for libel or slander
- Defending claims for libel and slander
- Online defamation
- Pursing damage claims for defamation
- Preventing stories from being published or broadcast