Defamation and malicious falsehood claims

Defamation, malicious falsehood, harassment and privacy disputes

Your reputation can take years to build but can be ruined on the basis of a single defamatory statement.

Defamation covers libel and slander, both of which concern the communication by someone of false information about you or your business to the public that adversely affects their perception of your reputation. Libel relates to lasting forms of publications like anything in writing or broadcasted (e.g., articles, social media posts, e-mails, broadcasts). Slander, however, refers to momentary publications such as spoken words and gestures.

Even short comments posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in online reviews or other forms of social media can be defamatory if they have caused or are likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the person that the statements or information are made about. The abuse of social media to communicate hateful material, to cause reputational damage, or to abuse and threaten victims with harassment, is a growing problem.

How we can help

If genuine harm has been done to your reputation, the courts expect defamation claims to be made quickly. This is why a defamation claim must be commenced within one year of the day of publication or expression of the defamatory statement.

Malicious falsehood is a similar claim to defamation and involves demonstrating that a false statement was published maliciously by another which either causes or is likely to cause financial loss to you. If you believe someone has published false statements about you which has caused damage to your personal reputation, or the reputation of your business, it is important to act quickly to avoid the damage spreading. Our defamation solicitors can also help you to take steps to protect your reputation if you or your business are the subject of adverse publicity. They can also help in cases where you have made (or assist someone to make) comments about someone else who alleges they are defamatory of them.


Civil action can be taken to protect victims from a course of conduct that causes them distress or alarm.  Sources of harassment can include anti-social behaviour of neighbours and online activities such as cyber-bullying and other forms of social media abuse. Civil remedies available to address the harassing conduct include obtaining an injunction to restrain the relevant person and damages to compensate for anxiety and any financial loss resulting from the harassment. These can be pursued not only by the victim of the harassment, but also a third party whose behaviour the harassment is intended to impact on. 

For more information on how we can help call us today on
0333 323 5292 or fill in the enquiry form on this page for an initial consultation to find out how we can help.

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