Your reputation can take years to build but can be ruined on the basis of one defamatory statement. It is vital that you know who to call for fast, reliable advice if you or your business are the subject of adverse publicity.
Whether you feel your reputation has been damaged online, in print or in person, we can help. Our expertise ensures we can minimise damage, prevent it happening again, help you to resolve conflicts and have undue defamation publicly revoked.
What is Defamation?
Defamation is when someone communicates false information about you or your business that alters people’s perception in a negative way and, results in damage to your reputation. Slander and libel are types of defamation. Libel is when someone publishes a false statement about you or your business in a permanent form, such as in writing, in pictures or during a broadcast. Slander refers to false spoken statements about a person or business.
Defamation cases typically cover statements or information that:
- Lowers people’s opinion of you or your business
- Expresses a suggestion of incompetence in your ability to carry out business
- Exposes you to hatred, ridicule or contempt
- Causes you to be shunned or avoided
Due to technological advances and the rise in popularity of social media, we are seeing more and more of these kinds of cases as they enable defamatory comments to be spread more quickly and more widely than ever before. An individual or business can now suffer defamation in any of the following places:
- Newspaper, magazine or other print publication
- Television and radio
- Social media
For advice on defamation risk management for businesses, click here.
At Lupton Fawcett, our specialist team of solicitors will guide you through your options and provide straightforward advice on matters involving defamation.
We will advise you on how best to protect your reputation and that of your company, as we consider your business as important as our own. Litigation is sometimes, but not always, the best option and with over 100 years of practising law, we have the skills, knowledge and experience to advise you when to litigate and when to consider alternative dispute resolution.
Who Can Make a Claim?
Not everybody is able to make a defamation claim. Individuals, companies, firms, certain charities and trade unions are all able to fight defamation by bringing claims of libel or slander, but local authorities, councils, government bodies and political parties cannot - although individual members may be able to in certain circumstances.
However, you are only able to make a defamation claim within one year of the day of publication or expression of the defamatory statement.
To be able to prove defamation, Section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013 stipulates that a defamatory statement must cause considerable harm to the reputation of the claimant for a claim to be made. For example, a business must prove that financial hardship has been a result of defamation.
Secondly, you must be able to prove that the statement is about you or your business. In simple cases, you will usually be named in the defamatory statement, making this easy to prove. However, in more complicated cases, the claimant won’t be explicitly mentioned, meaning it must be proved that the person making the defamatory statement was referring to the claimant.
Finally, you must prove that the defendant was responsible for publishing, broadcasting or speaking the defamatory statement. Our team will help you to gather the evidence necessary to prove these three points.
Contact Us for Help
We provide advice on a wide range of legal issues to clients around Yorkshire and beyond from our offices in Leeds, York and Sheffield. For an initial discussion about your case, contact one of specialists today using the details below.
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With Lupton Fawcett on your side, you're taking control. Contact us today.
At last it is all at an end, and we are happy with the outcome. We would like to thank you and the team for giving control back to our lives, god knows where we would be, also for your professionalism and counselling to guide us through this horrendous ordeal we do thank you, it was worth every penny.David Haywood, Former Minority Shareholder in Haywood and Padgett Limited