Should I take action against defamation?

Catherine Green, Partner and Civil and Commercial Disputes Solicitor at WSP Solicitors

Catherine Green, Litigation Partner explains what you should consider when taking action against defamation.

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool but when someone starts spreading damaging untruths that affect the reputation and good name of your business, verbally or in writing, you need to move swiftly to protect your interests.

Time is of the essence, keep calm as clarity of thought is essential. The first thing to do is to gather evidence of the defamation and who’s responsible for it, whether it’s an email, letter or internet article, as soon as possible.

Secondly, estimate how many people will have seen or heard what has been said. If it is only a few, contacting them directly may alleviate their anxieties and stop any damage spreading.

To have a claim, the comments must be false and defamatory. For something to be defamatory it has to reduce the view of your business in the eyes of the average person. If it is so outrageous that no-one would seriously believe it, then you might not want to give the impression that you are giving the accusation any credence.

You might also like to consider whether you would prefer to spend your money and time on a positive marketing campaign rather than on a defamation claim.

Defamation claims are not just for the rich and famous, effective action can be taken without needing to take the matter to court, as long as you take it immediately.

This is only a general overview and should not be relied upon in any particular case. For specialist advice on your position please contact Catherine Green without delay by email at: catherinegreen@wspsolicitors.com.

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