Introduction

The reasons for wanting to protect one's reputation goes beyond esoteric discussion about "self-worth" and the wider concept of "standing in the community". This is because at a practical level loss of reputation can have serious consequences for career and life opportunities. Whilst personal "pride" may be an element in reality issues of livelihood and financial security are significant factors. 

If what was written about you was untrue and caused, or was likely to cause, "serious harm" to your reputation (and not covered by one of the exceptions allowed in law eg a priviliged communition) we can take steps towards restoring your reputation; for instance by seeking an apology and correction, and also seek damages by way of compensation and vindication. This may require litigation in which we have extensive experience - we may be able to offer funding on a "no win no fee", or offer a fixed fee arrangement so that you can budget for our firm's fees for the litigation in advance - but as a word of warning please note that an opponent's legal costs (which can be substantial) will most likely become payable should the litigation fail since the general rule is that the loser pays the winner's legal costs. The financial consequences of litigation therefore needs to be carefully weighed up and considered. 

What a complainant must prove

A potential claimant who says he or she has been libelled has to prove certain basic facts to get a case off the ground, these are as follows:

  • that the words were published to a third party ie to someone other that the complainant;
  • that the meaning was defamatory of the claimant ie that the complainant was identifiable by name or by innuendo from the publication;
  • that the publication caused or was likely to cause "serious harm" to the reputation of the claimant; and where the claimant is a business entity that the harm caused, or was likely to cause, serious financial loss;
  • and, in cases where the defendant relies on privilege from being sued, as a defence, the claimant must prove malice to overcome this defence.

To learn about the first stage of work we can do for you, visit our Initial Assessment page.

Stages

There are 3 stages to the work we can do for you, please see below:


Introduction

Introduction


Stage 1

Initial Assessment


Stage 2

Negotiated settlement attempt BEFORE issue of court proceedings


Stage 3

Litigation AFTER court proceedings issued