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What Constitutes Defamation?

Defamation encompasses any spoken or written statement that is considered harmful to the reputation of a business and is subsequently proven to be false. Written defamation is specifically termed as ‘libel,’ while spoken defamation is referred to as ‘slander.’ The distinction between the two is significant, as libel and slander have distinct requirements that a claimant must satisfy. Additionally, when we discuss defamation, it often includes the concept of “Malicious Falsehood.”

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    Defamation Claims

    Defamation law is designed to safeguard and compensate individuals and businesses from unjustly suffering damage to their character and reputation due to false and defamatory statements.

    A defamation claim can only succeed if the information published, broadcast, or spoken about the characteristics of a person, business, or product is proven to be:

    1. Untrue in some respect. 
    2. Exaggerated. 
    3. Reported in an intentionally misleading manner. 
    4. Damaging to the image of that person or business, i.e., a statement that ‘tends to lower him or her 
    in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally.’ 

    Initiating a Defamation Claim

    If you believe that false or defamatory comments have adversely affected your business reputation, resulting in financial loss or the loss of future revenue, you may consider pursuing compensation. Additionally, you have the option to seek an injunction to prevent further publication of the defamatory comments.

    Defending Against a Defamation Claim

    Defences to defamation actions extend beyond merely asserting that the publication in question is justified (true) or constitutes honest comment. Qualified privilege and reasonable reportage are technical defences, which may also be subject to challenges on technical grounds.

    Why Choose Arlingsworth Solicitors

    Our dynamic and experienced team of defamation solicitors possesses expertise in advising claimants on the most effective strategies to protect their reputations. This includes guidance on actions to take before publication (whether to comment or refrain from commenting when invited), how to prevent or influence the publication of an offending document, and the appropriate post-publication measures to consider, if any.


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