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2.07.18

Defamation/ Libel: Defamation claims up by 40% in 2017

Inforrm, the leading independent media law blog, reported last week that judicial statistics for 2017 show a 40% increase in the number of defamation claims issued. 156 defamation claims were issued in London in 2017, compared with 112 in 2016. These figures debunk the theory that has been, somewhat lazily, it might be said, regurgitated…

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26.03.18

Supreme Court to hear appeal on "serious harm" threshold in defamation cases

The Supreme Court has granted the unsuccessful defendants in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1327 permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s rulings regarding the application of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013. Section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 states that a statement is not defamatory unless it is publication…

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12.12.17

Libel/Defamation: cogent evidence required to defeat the qualified privilege defence

In the case of David v Hosany [2017] EWHC 2787 (QB), His Honour Judge Moloney QC considered a libel claim brought by the claimant, a Governor of the East London Foundation NHS Trust, in respect of three publications by the defendant, another Governor of the same Trust. These publications alleged that the claimant had intimidated…

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2.11.17

Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department: Revisiting the honest opinion defence

The decision in Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2619 (QB) clarifies the application of the statutory defence of honest opinion under section 3 of the Defamation Act 2013. In doing so the case also confirms the application of the defence to statements made by Government bodies and the interdependence of the defence upon…

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15.09.17

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…

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13.08.17

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…

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11.06.17

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…

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16.03.17

Court orders Katie Hopkins to pay £24,000 in damages in Twitter libel case

The food blogger, journalist and left-wing political activist Jack Monroe has been awarded £24,000 in damages by the High Court following two tweets sent by the MailOnline (and former Sun) columnist Katie Hopkins in May 2015. Factual background On 9 May 2015, two days after the General Election, the words “Fuck Tory Scum” were spray painted on…

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15.02.16

Defamation: case law update on the application of the 'serious harm' test

In Alvaro Sobrinho v Impressa Publishing SA [2016] EWHC 66 (QB) the High Court held that an article written in a Portuguese publication about allegedly illegal activity carried out by a banker did not satisfy the ‘serious harm’ test as set out in section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013. The Court also held that…

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25.09.15

Corporate defamation claims and claims against anonymous parties

Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson is interviewed by Susan Ghaiwal.  This article was first published on Lexis® PSL IP&IT on 24 September 2015. Does Brett Wilson LLP v Persons Unknown highlight how courts should approach anonymity in online cases? Iain Wilson, partner at Brett Wilson LLP, explains that the judgment shows courts recognise the harm that anonymous…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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