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Defamation/ Libel


Brett Wilson LLP’s departments and lawyers ranked as leaders in their fields in the Legal 500

Brett Wilson LLP has been ranked in three categories in the prestigious Legal 500 directory of leading law firms:- Reputation Management Professional Discipline Crime (General) In addition, media law partners Iain Wilson (described as an ‘innovator’) and Max Campbell (‘thoughtful, high-quality lawyer’) and solicitors Tom Double and Elisabeth Mason have been individually recognised by the directory….

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Publishing hyperlinks: can you be liable for linking to defamatory content?  

In a detailed judgment in the case of Caine v Advertiser And Times Ltd & Ors [2019] EWHC 2278 (QB), Richard Spearman QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division, was asked to consider, amongst other things, whether the Second and Third Defendants were liable as publishers of defamatory content found on the First Defendant’s Facebook page because they had provided hyperlinks…

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New rules for media and communications claims

From 1 October 2019 new rules – in the form of a revised Part 53 of the Civil Procedure Rules, revised/new practice directions (PD 7A, 53A and 53B) and an all encompassing pre-action protocol – will apply to claims in England and Wales arising from media and communications disputes. The formal designation of a specialist…

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Elisabeth Mason joins Brett Wilson LLP’s media law team

On 5 August 2019 Elisabeth Mason joined Brett Wilson LLP’s media law department. Elisabeth is a highly-regarded solicitor specialising in defamation, privacy, harassment and data protection law.  Elisabeth joins the firm from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP and has been involved in recent high-profile cases including Zahir Monir v Steve Wood [2018] EWHC 3525 (QB). Elisabeth’s…

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Court refuses routine NPO disclosure application due to lack of “genuine intention”

In Mircom International and Golden Eye International v Virgin Media and Persons Unknown [2019] EWHC 1827 (Ch) the High Court declined to order Virgin Media to hand over the IP addresses of persons who had allegedly downloaded and shared pornographic films in breach of copyright. The internet and broadband provider resisted the application of Mircom and…

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Libel claim by man claiming to have invented Bitcoin dismissed on jurisdictional grounds

The decision of Mr Justice Nicklin in Craig Wright v Roger Ver [2019] EWHC 2094 (QB) confirms that where a defendant in a libel claim is not domiciled in the United Kingdom, another Member State or a state which is a contracting party to the Lugano Convention, claimants have a very difficult task in obtaining…

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Morgan v Times Newspapers Limited: Court holds that article criticising conduct of barrister in Ben Stokes prosecution was defamatory at common law

Mr Justice Soole has handed down his judgment in the trial of preliminary issues in Alison Morgan QC v Times Newspapers Limited [2019] EWHC 1525 (QB).  The judgment, available here, determined the meaning of an article published in The Times on 16 August 2018 titled ‘Senior Prosecutor under fire after Stokes is cleared of affray’….

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Supreme Court confirms defamation is no longer actionable per se

In Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd & Anor [2019] UKSC 27 the Supreme Court sought to clarify the meaning of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013.  The Supreme Court was unequivocal in its rejection of the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of section 1(1) and its endorsement of Mr Justice Warby’s analysis of the law…

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Defamation claims up by 70% in 2018

Inforrm, the leading independent media law blog, reported last week that judicial statistics for 2018 show a 70% increase in the number of defamation claims issued. 265 defamation claims were issued in London in 2018, compared with 156 in 2017.  This is the second year in a row which has seen a dramatic increase, and the figures…

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MailOnline pays libel damages to barrister for false death threat allegations

The MailOnline has agreed to pay libel damages and legal costs to barrister Barbara Hewson after repeating allegations made in The Times that she was responsible for making death threats to a law student. An apology published in the MailOnline stated “An article published from 12 April 2017 reported allegations made in The Times that…

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