Defamation of character

 

Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you to a third party that is damaging to your reputation.

Defamation of character law is designed to protect and compensate individuals and business from having their character and reputation improperly damaged by untrue defamatory statements.

Under defamation of character law, if you make out a successful defamation case in court, you may be able to stop that person from making or publishing such statements about you. You may also be able to get compensation.

What is defamation of character?

Defamation of character happens when someone says or writes something untrue about you (or your business or product) which is damaging to your reputation (or that of your business)

The false information needs to be about the characteristics of a person (or their business or product). It must cause damage to the image of that person (or their business or product).

A defamation of character lawsuit will only be successful if the information published is:

  • Untrue in some respect
  • Exaggerated
  • Reported in an intentionally misleading way

In the UK, there is no statutory definition of defamation. Instead, various statements by the courts contribute to a common law definition of defamation.

Each definition has a common link to the reputation of the person or business about whom the statement is made. The most widely regarded definition of defamation is a statement made which ‘tends to lower him in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally’.

How must the statement be made?

The statement must be communicated to a person other than the person whose reputation is being damaged.

When someone says something bad about you (or your business) it can be hard to be objective about whether it was defamatory. For this reason it is important to obtain advice from a specialist defamation solicitor who is experienced in assessing defamation claims.

For example, insulting or abusive statements are not always defamatory. What needs to be shown is that the statement damages your reputation, or lowers you in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally.

How do you make a defamation of character claim?

A defamation of character claim has a unique process when a claim occurs. The claim is brought in the High Court and is heard by a jury as well as a judge.

You should always get advice from a solicitor if you think you might have a defamation of character claim. A defamation solicitor can give you advice on how strong a case you have.

Particularly, if you have lost business or money through a damaged reputation it could be worth seeking compensation. Specialist defamation lawyers are equipped to guide you on your best route of action and likely remedies, whether you have been the victim of defamation or if, indeed, you are being accused of it.

Do you want to bring a claim forward for defamation of character? Contact Law works with some of the best defamation lawyers in the country that can represent your case, whatever the scale. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

Call
0800 1777 162
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Area of law:
Name:
Town/City:
Email:
Phone:
What our clients say about us
"The firm you recommended was extremely helpful. Your service has been very useful indeed and I won't hesitate to contact you again or recommend your service to friends and family." Liz, Family law, South Wales, Aug 13
"I am very grateful for your help...my thanks for listening to the relevant points and surrounding issues and making this recommendation. In a word - excellent!"
Peter, Family law, Oswestry, Feb 14
"I want to thank you for constantly being in touch and providing me with different options. I would highly recommend Contact Law to anyone who needs legal assistance." AP, Employment law, London, Dec 13
"Thank you so much for your recommendation. The solicitor suggested really interesting alternatives, and gave me moral support. I'm so glad I came across your website."
LR, Kingston, Nov 10
"We engaged the solicitor's services and everything has been fantastic. It was such a relief...I wish I had called you earlier and saved myself hours of calls!"
Jaye, Civil litigation, N. Yorks, Feb 13
"Contact Law's solicitors were fantastic and won me the compensation I was hoping for following my accident."

Tom F, PI, Edinburgh, March 09
"Sincere thanks for making things a lot easier for me and my family. When I contacted you initially I really didn't know where to start and was terrified by what costs might be involved."TC, London, March 11
"The service you provided was very good. It was informative, you listened to me and determined the best way forward. Thanks for your help."
JC, Swindon, April 14
"Initially I was sceptical about asking a question online (never having done that before) but would do it again and would recommend others do the same." Pete Chambers, Feb 12
"Thanks for following up. We are going with [the recommended solicitor] and I'm very please with the way you have helped us. I will certainly recommend you to our clients." John, Commercial property law, London, May 13

We use cookies on the Contact Law site to help us improve it.

If you would like to allow our cookies, please click 'Continue' or carry on browsing. For more information on cookies and how to change your settings, click 'More info'.