Services

Defamation

For advice or assistance about a defamation claim believed to be worth £10,000 or more, contact our expert defamation claims solicitors.

Reputation can be the most valuable thing an individual owns, so it is crucial to protect it. Our specialist solicitors have decades of experience in delicately handling defamation claims of all kinds, and we can help ensure this esteemed asset is kept intact.

We are a partner-led, niche litigation practice based in central London. In order to provide an exceptional service for our clients, we only offer strategic, high-level advice and representation. As a result, we cannot cost effectively handle claims with a value below £10,000. For individuals involved in a defamation dispute exceeding this amount who want a team of fierce litigators determined to achieve the desired result, contact Saunders today.

Speak to our defamation solicitors in London

For advice about making a defamation of character claim, call us on 020 7315 4809 or make an enquiry online.

Read our guide: An Introduction to Litigation.

Expert defamation lawyers in Central London – why Saunders Law is the smart choice for defamation claims

Due to the digital media revolution and the rapid rise of social platforms, there are more ways than ever before that a person’s reputation can suffer damage. Regardless of whether the reputational damage was caused by someone’s spoken words or written communications, we help individuals and businesses restore their reputation and take action against those who have unfairly attacked their character.

Our lawyers are well experienced in handling claims involving libel, slander and defamation of character – particularly where those responsible dispute the claim. We help clients who have suffered unfair and damaging statements about their personal character or conduct. We understand that such events can be extremely stressful and can put pressure on their business, their finances and their personal life. That is why we aim to mitigate the effect of such statements, and ensure that our clients are fully compensated for any financial loss as a result of defamation.

Partner-led team with over 40 years’ experience

Our partner-led team has over four decades of experience handling complex and high-value litigation cases. Our team includes many highly skilled professionals who have a wide range of legal expertise. For example, our head of dispute resolution, Matthew Purcell, has specialised in litigation his entire career and his experience includes various high profile defamation cases.

Read more about our team of legal experts.

Bespoke service tailored to our clients’ individual needs

The circumstances leading up to the defamatory language as well as the comments, printed words or actions themselves will always be unique to each case. Therefore, we ensure that our advice is carefully tailored to our clients’ individual circumstances so that we can deliver the desired result as efficiently as possible.

We help our clients explore a multitude of potential options, utilising the highest levels of strategic insight gained from our decades of combined expertise.

Free, no-obligation, initial discussion

We can offer a free initial discussion to individuals and businesses about the possibility of making a defamation claim.

What is defamation?

Defamation is a spoken or written statement by an individual or business that turns out to be false but is harmful to their reputation. There are two types of defamation:

  • Slander – spoken words or comments
  • Libel or written defamation – words that are published in writing or broadcast

Each type of defamation has different legal requirements to prove in court.

Making a Claim for Defamation

Anyone who becomes aware that something defamatory has been written or said about them, whether online, in print or in public, should contact us right away. The sooner one of our specialist defamation lawyers is able to review the circumstances of the case, the more straightforward it is for us to mitigate the damage of the defamatory statement. We help our clients to form the best strategy for ensuring their good character is protected. There are a number of actions we can take, including but not limited to:

  • making a claim for damages;
  • seeking an injunction to prevent libel or slander happening again; and
  • seeking an apology from the liable party

We can also assist clients who have good reason to believe they are about to be the victim of defamation. We may be able to prevent any libellous statements by securing an injunction, ensuring our client’s reputation is never harmed in the first place. Our specialist lawyers deal all defamation cases with understanding and we hold detailed discussions in strictest confidence before offering bespoke advice for each client’s specific situation.

It is vital for victims of defamation to act quickly as there are strict time limits for bringing proceedings. Contact Saunders today to find out how we can help.

Are there any defences to defamation?

There are a number of defences available to parties involved in defamation cases. This includes the defence that the statement is true, or that the statement was “fair comment”. However, the team here at Saunders are exceptionally experienced in handling defamation claims and can provide advice on how likely a claim is to succeed.

What is the difference between defamation, libel and slander?

Defamation is the umbrella term for the situation where a statement is made that is unfair, untrue and is likely to lower other people’s opinion of the defamed person or business. This is known as a defamation of character and can be either written, spoken or appear online or on social media.

However, the terms “libel” and “slander” are also used to describe such situations, and many find the difference confusing. The term libel refers to when defamatory statements have been made in a permanent form, such as in print, television broadcasts or on websites. On the other hand, slander occurs when someone talks about a person or business in a negative way, which may cause damage to their reputation.

Defamatory statements can be made in a number of ways, including word of mouth, social media and written publications like newspapers or magazines. If something unfair or untrue is said or written about a person or business, which is likely to lower them in the estimation of other people, this is defamation of character.

Can someone make a defamation claim if they are not mentioned by name?

Yes, so long as the person or business is identifiable by the defamatory words or material, it is possible to bring a claim for defamation.

Can companies make a defamation claim?

Yes, for a company’s defamation claim to be successful, they must prove that the defamatory words or material has caused or is likely to cause significant harm to their business. Significant harm tends to mean a serious financial loss.

Can a person claim for defamatory words published on social media?

Yes, although social media is often less permanent than other forms of publication as posts and comments can be deleted and removed, defamatory words published on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook can be just as detrimental to reputation as words published in a newspaper or broadcast. Social media defamation can even be arguably worse than other forms of defamation because it has such a wide, global reach and it is easy for content to be republished across the web.

Who do you sue for defamation?

Any person or business involved in publishing the defamatory words or material can be sued. This could include the author of the material as well as the editor, producer, publishing company or (in some cases) a website owner. In the case of website owners, it may not be possible to sue if they were not responsible for the material being published on their website.

What are the time limits for defamation claims?

Under defamation law, any person or business affected by defamation must bring their claim within one year of the date of publication. Where the material has been re-published – for example, material that continues to be posted online – the time limit still runs from the date it was first published.

Do all defamation claims go to court?

No, some do but the courts usually try to encourage parties to negotiate a settlement out of court wherever possible. This typically involves writing a letter of claim setting out the basis of the claim and the expected resolution. From here, the parties can attempt to negotiate an appropriate settlement, such as compensation or an apology. If a voluntary settlement is not possible, it may be necessary to go to court. A skilled defamation solicitor can provide detailed advice about the suitability of any settlement offer and the prospects of making a successful court claim.

Saunders Law – Expert Defamation and Commercial Litigation Lawyers London

At Saunders Law, we are dedicated litigators with vast experience assisting clients to resolve their civil and commercial disputes. We are well-known for our high-profile work and excellent client satisfaction. Operating from offices facing the High Court in central London, we are also ideally located to handle all kinds of  litigation cases. For a free, no-obligation, initial discussion of how we may be able to help, please contact us.

Call us on 0207 632 4300 or make an enquiry online.

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