Defamation

Defamation

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Reputation matters. It matters to individuals and to corporations.

Defamation of character (simply put, libel is a permanent form of publication and slander is the spoken word) give rise to different legal rights of action where published statements are false and damaging of reputation. Re-publication of defamatory material is also actionable and presents common problems in the world of Twitter.

But there are defences to defamation actions, beyond simple assertions that the publication in question is justified (true) or that it is honest comment. For example, qualified privilege and reasonable reportage are technical defences – which may also be challenged on technical grounds.

Our Expertise

The identification of the offending words and the accurate attribution of meaning to them (and the identification of an innuendo, where the offending words convey a meaning, without expressing it directly) are all technical elements in the world of reputation protection.

We are skilled in advising Claimants on how to protect their reputations, of steps to take before publication (whether to comment or not to comment when invited to do so), how to prevent or to influence the publication of an offending document and what action to take (if any) post publication.

We are experienced in the steps to take and the likely outcomes, in conducting appropriate correspondence and in employing arbitration and mediation to resolve disputes and as to when to issue proceedings and how to conduct a defamation action to a successful conclusion. For the Defendant publisher, we are experienced in rejecting claims in defamation and exposing justified and speculative allegations. We proof read for clients, pre-publication and advise on the risks of publication.