Are you being harassed? Do you need it to stop?
Over the years we have helped thousands of public figures, HNWIs and professionals who have suffered from harassment. Our highly-regarded media and communications law department is unique because all our solicitors work exclusively in this field. This means that our clients receive the best possible advice and representation.
Harassment is a "course of conduct" which causes the victim(s) to suffer alarm, anxiety and/or distress and which the perpetrator knows - or ought to know - amounts to harassment. The legal threshold is quite high. It is behaviour which – taken as a whole - is oppressive, rather than simply annoying or irritating. A "course of conduct" means two or more events, although in most cases there will be a long history of harassment.
Harassment takes many guises. It might involve a combination of physical stalking, online trolling, unwanted phone calls, letters, texts and/or emails. The conduct might include the malicious publication of abusive content online and/or a more general campaign of hatred. In many instances the perpetrator will be a former partner or an embittered ex-employee. Harassment may be committed against a group of people (e.g. a workforce or a family).
Harassment is a civil 'cause of action' and a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. A civil claim for harassment is brought by a claimant (someone who claims to be a victim). If successful the defendant may be ordered to pay damages for distress and anxiety and other loss. A court can grant an injunction prohibiting further harassment. If this is breached an application can be made for the defendant to be committed to prison.
Where harassment involves the publication of material online or communication of information to third parties by email or letter, there may be concurrent claims for defamation and/or the misuse of private information.
What to do if you are being harassed
If you are being harassed you should obtain and preserve evidence. Print off relevant communications and keep a log/diary of the conduct. Do not engage with someone who is harassing you beyond making it clear that you want the conduct to stop. If you are in a position to instruct us, contact us for advice. If you believe you are in physical danger contact the police.
How our harassment solicitors can help
We have the specialist expertise to:-
- Advise individuals and organisations on the various legal options open to them and the cost-benefit analysis of each route.
- Draft “cease and desist” letters to the perpetrators of harassment campaigns.
- In relation to online harassment, draft letters to publishers and hosting companies seeking the removal of offensive content.
- Make applications for interim injunctions where appropriate.
- Assist you with pursuing a claim for damages to compensate you for the harassment.
- Pursue additional claims for defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence/misuse of private information and/or the breach of Data Protection Act 2018/GDPR.
- Advise on the scope for making a Norwich Pharmacal application for the disclosure of information held by a third party relating to the authors of anonymous or pseudoanonymous material.
- Instruct experts where appropriate to assist in identifying the authors of anonymous or pseudoanonymous material.
- Advise on the scope for bringing representative proceedings to protect a group (e.g. a company’s workforce) which is being harassed.
Why should I instruct Brett Wilson LLP?
Our work and client care is of the highest standard. All cases are run by a specialist harassment solicitor. Every matter has partner involvement.
We are well-known for our harassment work. We have long-standing working relationships with the best media law QCs and junior barristers, whom we can draft into the team to represent you in court if the need arises.
As well as being listed in the prestigious Legal 500 directory as a leading firm in the field of defamation law and privacy law, every solicitor in the media law department is recommended by the directory. Equally, the firm is ranked as a leading firm by Chambers & Partners for defamation and reputation management work, with Iain Wilson, Max Campbell and Tom Double individually recognised. Most importantly, we receive excellent feedback from our clients and contemporaries.
Litigation can be stressful, time consuming and costly. Therefore at the outset of your case we will conduct a cost benefit analysis with you. We will talk you through this process. We offer honest and pragmatic advice to our clients. We will always consider alternative options, including asserting other causes of action (such as defamation and privacy), approaching intermediaries or PR work.
How do I instruct Brett Wilson LLP?
The first step is to attend a preliminary consultation. At the consultation we will advise you on the merits of any claim, talk through the relevant practical and legal issues, and set out your options. We will review relevant documentation ahead of the consultation. The consultation will help you understand your position and allow you to make an informed decision about what action to take.
Consultations take place in our London offices or by Skype/telephone. We can also travel to you.
To request a consultation please send us an email, complete our online enquiry form or call us on 020 3773 9173. If emailing or using the online form, please provide a short outline of your situation.
Details of the cost of a consultation will be provided following your enquiry.
We regret that we are unable to review your case or provide advice prior to a consultation or without a retainer in place. We do not accept instructions on a contingency fee, damage-based agreement/DBA, conditional fee agreement (“no win, no fee”)/CFA or legal aid basis.