Tag Archives: libel

Publish and be damned: the old adage applies equally to internet users

Websites and social media accounts have been, for some time now, the preferred platforms for those with an axe to grind to attack their opponents.  Disgruntled customers, ex-employees and jilted lovers number amongst those who believe the world wide web provides the best opportunity to criticise those who have dared to cross their path.

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#MeToo, naming and shaming: a risky business?

“#MeToo”: Five letters that have been tweeted millions of times in the past month, and demonstrate the enormous power of social media and how it can bring about change for the good.  The feeling of solidarity is a cathartic experience for many who have been the victim of sexual abuse, harassment or other forms of coercive behaviour.  Beyond this, the reach of the hashtag is already challenging outdated social values and societal norms.

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Brett Wilson LLP and its lawyers recommended in Legal 500 directory

Brett Wilson LLP has been ranked in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 as a leading firm in the fields of Reputation Management, White Collar Crime/Fraud and General Crime.  The latest edition was published on 11 October 2017 and marks the sixth consecutive year that Brett Wilson LLP has featured in the directory.

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Business as usual?  The Court of Appeal considers the threshold for bringing a libel claim in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd.

The long-awaited decision in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1334 has brought some badly-needed clarity and certainty to the law of libel, and it seems fair to say that reports of the death of the libel writ have been greatly exaggerated.  The decision interprets both the meaning of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 – “the serious harm” test – and determines the point at which a claim for libel crystallises.

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Libel/Defamation: Libel, privacy breaches and harassment on Snapchat

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging mobile application (app) that allows users to send videos and photos to their contacts. The recipient can normally only view an image/video for a limited period of time (perhaps just a few seconds).  This encourages some users to send risqué (sometimes explicit) images/videos to one another. This feature is far from foolproof. A receiving party may take a screenshot of the image or a photo and/or video of the screen with a separate digital camera/phone.

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Libel/Defamation: £25,000 libel damages and indemnity costs for malicious complaint to employer

In Singh v Weayou [2017] EWHC 2102 (QB), the Claimant Keith Singh, a Night Services Coordinator at the Priory Hospital in Roehampton, sued the Defendant Joseph Weayou, a Health Care Assistant at the same hospital, for libel and malicious falsehood in respect of an email Mr Weayou had sent on 24 August 2015 to the HR Manager and a senior manager at the hospital.  In the email, Mr Weayou made a number of allegations, including, most seriously, that Mr Singh had sexually assaulted him.

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Defamation, privacy and harassment on WhatsApp: a new legal frontier?

Part of the appeal of WhatsApp, the instant messaging service, is that it allows you to join groups from which you can send messages and pictures to other participants across the globe with relative ease and at no cost. Gone are the days when parties or other social events are organised by email or invitations sent by post (at least amongst younger generations). WhatsApp provides immediacy and is user-friendly.  No surprise, then, that Facebook bought it for £11.4bn in 2014.

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Defamation cases: Number of defamation claims issued at a record low

The Ministry of Justice has published annual statistics which further suggest that London’s reputation as the ‘libel capital of the world’ might be undeserved.  The 2016 figures show that only 112 claims were issued in the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in London (all defamation claims must be issued in the High Court; the vast majority of these are issued in the RCJ).  This is the lowest number recorded over three decades-worth of record-keeping.

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Nigel Farage sued for libel by anti-hate charity

Defamation proceedings have been issued in the High Court against former UKIP leader Nigel Farage after he accused the charity Hope not Hate of being ‘violent and undemocratic’.  The allegation was made on 20 December 2016 on LBC radio’s breakfast show.

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