Libel, Slander, Defamation, Malicious Falsehood and Negligent Misstatement
It is a truism that reputations take years to build but can be destroyed 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 should ensure that they take advice from those that are suitably experienced in libel and its related fields.
We have worked for many well known people through the years but it’s not just famous names that become victims of defamation. Any company or individual can find themselves in a position where they need to vigorously protect their reputations.
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. When the defamation is put into writing, pictures or another permanent medium it becomes a libel. When the defamation is only in a temporary form generally spoken (though it can include conduct and gesture) it is slander.
Defences against Defamation
The Defamation Act 2013 introduces a number defences against Defamation some based on previously established defences and others entirely new:
- Honest Opinion
- Publication on a Matter of Public Interest
- A limited defence for Website Operators where offending User Generated Content is posted on their site
- A limited defence for publication in a Peer Reviewed Journal
- Absolute and Qualified Privilege
Defamation is an area of law that can prove very expensive to contest or defend but at Cubism Law we pride ourselves on offering clients excellent value for money. At the outset of your case we will give you clear guidance on your full range of options and the likely cost implications of each route.
Areas of expertise
- Advising on whether material is defamatory
- Advising on whether there are grounds for action for libel or slander
- Pursing damage claims for defamation
- Preventing stories from being published or broadcast
- Defending claims for libel and slander
- Online defamation