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Online Harassment

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.

The World Wide Web and email have revolutionised the way in which we communicate with one another and go about our everyday lives. Unfortunately, these mediums can also be used by individuals to wage campaigns and pursue personal grudges. Online harassment can range from a sustained attack on an individual's personal or business reputation through to "cyberstalking" and "trolling". Whether such campaigns are advanced by disgruntled customers, former partners or colleagues they can cause the target (or targets) a considerable amount of distress. Such behaviour is often fuelled by the perpetrator’s misconceptions - that freedom of expression provides carte blanche for their behaviour and/or that the internet is beyond the reach of the law.

A campaign of harassment might be waged entirely online or it can also involve more traditional forms of harassment, such as stalking and/or unwanted correspondence, phonecalls and text messages.

At Brett Wilson LLP, we have a rare combination of skills and expertise in both civil and criminal law and have dealt with a number of leading online cases both in the civil courts and criminal courts. It is often the case that an individual subject to online harassment may have a number of claims open to them, including defamation and the misuse of private information.  Likewise, the conduct in question may constitute a criminal offence under, amongst other legislation, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and/or the Communications Act 2003.


What our Online Harassment Solicitors can do for you


Brett Wilson LLP has 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.
  • Draft letters to publishers and hosting companies seeking the removal of offensive content.
  • Make applications for interim injunctions where appropriate.
  • Pursue claims for damages suffered as a result of harassment.
  • Pursue additional claims for defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of privacy/misuse of private information and/or the breach of General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)/Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Instruct experts where appropriate to assist in identifying the authors of anonymous or pseudoanonymous material.
  • 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.
  • Advise on the scope for bringing representative proceedings to protect a group (e.g. a company’s workforce) which is being harassed.

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.


Case Study

In The Law Society & Ors v Kordowski [2011] EWHC 3185 (QB) Brett Wilson LLP was instructed by the Law Society to bring representative proceedings on behalf of the legal profession to close down the controversial website Solicitors from Hell.  The judgment in the successful action provides important guidance on representative proceedings, online harassment and the applicability of data protection law to the publication of material on the internet.


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 emailcomplete 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.


See also

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Call 020 7183 8950
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