Nath Solicitors in London advises businesses and individuals in relation to defamation claims arising from material that appears online or in traditional media.
Our job is more straightforward when you know the person or company that has published the offending material. But there are still considerable hurdles to overcome before proceeding with a substantive defamation action.
If you don’t know who to bring your claim against, different procedures apply.
HAVE YOU BEEN DEFAMED?
Pursuing a case that has little merit is risky. Legal costs can quickly mount and you may end up exacerbating the damage caused by the comments you object to by drawing more attention to it.
To be defamatory, a published statement must lower an individual or business in the opinion of ‘right thinking members of society’. In other words, you need to ask the question: would people think less of you or your business because of the statement?
In addition to establishing the defamatory nature of a particular statement you must be able to prove that:
- the material actually identified or referred to you
- it was published by someone to a third party
- the statement caused you serious harm or caused your business serious financial loss
And remember, there are several defences to the publication of a defamatory statement.
HOW NATH SOLICITORS CAN HELP
You usually have one year to bring a case for defamation so you should seek legal advice at an early stage. Our priority is to identify the publisher because the rules are strict about who the correct defendant is in particular situations.
We may need to differentiate between:
- the primary publisher – for example the author or editor; and
- the secondary publisher – this could be usually the printer, a bookseller or, in some cases, a website
Once we know the identity of the publisher and what has been written or said and we understand why it is not true we can address your case head on.
If we think you have a strong case we will approach the publisher requesting the material be removed – usually within hours – and indicate our intention to seek an injunction if it is not.
FINDING A SOLUTION THAT WORKS
Going to court is risky and expensive. We work hard to find a negotiated settlement that you are happy with before pursuing formal action. But it’s crucial to seek advice once you are aware of the offending material. Demonstrating your concern to publishers – and your clear intention to pursue legal action if necessary – will concentrate minds and could make a settlement easier to reach. Acting quickly will also minimise the potential damage of the defamatory statement.
For more information on defamation call us on +44(0)203 670 5540 or contact us online.