Anyone can be at risk from a defamation claim, whether from something written (libel) or spoken (slander). From national newspapers to websites, from interviews to podcasts, the words we use need careful scrutiny before broadcast or publication.
Reputation is one of the most valuable assets for any organisation or individual and they will often take robust steps against any actual or perceived slight. However, all of us value freedom of expression as well (even thought we don’t always like being on the receiving end of it).
The truth or falsity of a statement is simply the first stop when considering the possible defences to a claim. In particular, many organisations have obligations and duties which require them to share their views and/or otherwise publish information and may wish to argue that their publications are in the public interest. Claimant lawyers are renowned for the significant costs that they can incur in pursuing such claims so it is essential to get the right advice as soon as possible. If you’re accused of defamation – or feel you’ve been unfairly treated – you need fast, insightful legal advice to protect your interests and explain your options.
With over 50 years’ experience in defamation claims, we offer clear advice both pre and post publication. We can check press releases, articles and books, identifying risks before publication. We can also highlight any potential libel in video or audio material.
Our wide range of clients has included newspapers, magazines, professional bodies, police forces, local authorities, schools, universities, marketing companies, security companies, sports bodies, charities, property, legal and medical professionals and their insurers.
In addition to defending claims we also advise claimants, including professionals such as medics, architects and surveyors. We can also help with reputation management issues following a crisis such as a product recall. And we offer specific expertise in internet defamation from blogs and defamatory postings.
Our team has been actively involved in government consultations on libel reform, including internet defamation. Tim Smith, the partner who leads our defamation team, worked with the Ministry of Justice and helped the Law Society to brief the House of Lords on the Defamation Act 2013. He also chaired The Law Society’s Defamation Pre-Action Protocol Working Group.
As recognised experts in defamation law, we also regularly provide training on the risks, implications and latest developments in defamation.