Defamation and reputation management
Blake Morgan represent international, national and regional clients in the areas of defamation, privacy and reputation management for both contentious and non contentious matters.
Main areas of practice
Our specialist lawyers advise on these matters in the context of court proceedings having been issued, and also in non contentious matters, where for example, our clients call on us to give pre-publication advice to safeguard against future claims being brought against them.
Blake Morgan's Defamation and Privacy team provides advice and assistance in the following areas:
- Defamation: Reputation can take years to build and seconds to lose. It is important for both individuals and increasingly important for businesses in an online age. We advise on libel defamation, slander defamation, internet defamation and recommend to clients how best to protect their reputation by bringing or defending libel claims in the High Court or by alternative dispute resolution.
- Pre-publication advice: Getting a publication right at the outset is crucial to prevent legal disputes and more importantly, incurring unnecessary costs. Our defamation lawyers provide pre-publication advice to publishers and businesses assessing a proposed publication for libel, contempt and confidentiality, and recommend ways to avoid any difficulties.
- Reputation management: Protecting, restoring and safeguarding our clients' reputations is our defamation lawyers' business. Our defamation lawyers advise both individuals and businesses on how to best protect and manage their reputations when faced with a hostile press or false and defamatory publications, whether by litigation or more practical measures.
- Media issues: Our defamation lawyers work with clients to address issues raised by the media and through the media. We also advise on the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice, the Advertising Standards Authority Code of Practice and the OFCOM Broadcasting Code.
- Privacy and confidence: Privacy and litigation arising from breach of privacy is now a rapidly developing area of law. We advise on privacy issues for both claimants and defendants, including obtaining privacy injunctions and defending freedom of expression. Our defamation lawyers also advise on breach of confidence claims, confidentiality issues and human rights matters.
- Malicious falsehood: Malicious falsehood is often referred to as the poor relation to libel. However, it is often key in trade disputes and trade libel claims. We also advise businesses and individuals in respect of trade libel and malicious falsehood claims.
We act for a number of leading publishing houses, businesses and local newspapers, authors, leading academics and have particular experience in acting for clients in the charity and not for profit sector.
Examples of cases successfully handled by the team include:
- Advising and working with a charity to manage its reputation and minimise damage to this following the publication of various defamatory and damaging articles in the national press and online.
- Advising a corporate client in relation to the removal and management of numerous anonymous defamatory and damaging postings on various websites, including US websites.
- Advising a high profile individual in relation to the removal and management of numerous defamatory postings about him on various campaign websites.
- Acting for an individual in relation to an application to have a hearing in private to prevent jigsaw identification of the individual by the press.
- Successfully defending a client in a six-day High Court jury trial which involved complex issues of qualified privilege and malice.
- Acting for a senior city councillor in respect of a libel claim arising from an article written in a party political leaflet, which raised issues of justification, qualified privilege and malice.
- Acting for a large transport operator in relation to a libel claim against a rival operator following a defamatory press release published on a website and reported in various national and regional newspapers.
- Successfully representing a company following anonymous defamatory postings published on a financial website bulletin board. This required an urgent application to the court for the disclosure of the identities and IP addresses of those posting the defamatory material in order that proceedings could be commenced against them.
- Providing pre-publication advice to publishers and commercial clients on articles, books, online material, broadcasts and web broadcasts in respect of libel, privacy, data protection and contempt of court.
- Advising Royalty Magazine in a landmark libel case brought by a member of the Romanian royal family.