Defamation and reputation management

Swift, sure-footed advice to protect and preserve the reputations of organisations and individuals.

With the expanding use of email and the internet and the popularity of social media platforms, it's never been easier for confidential information to enter the public domain – meaning that harmful third-party comments can be quickly circulated widely. Unfortunately, the resulting damage to reputation can be considerable. Whether you're an individual or a large corporate, at Weightmans we understand how important it is to manage and protect your reputation.

Our specialist advisers can advise you on the full spectrum of legal issues in this fast-evolving area, including libel and slander, harassment, privacy rights, data protection and confidential information. We'll work with you to quickly understand the issues, taking urgent action as required. As well as providing early advice on the merits of your claim, our expert team will fill you in on your funding options.

We've advised a number of individuals, companies and organisations on a variety of reputation management matters, which include:

  • Acting for companies in connection with defamatory comments posted on social media platforms, working with internet service providers to have comments removed swiftly and with minimal harm.
  • Working with a charity to advise on malicious falsehood and libel in connection with widely circulated correspondence and comments posted on online discussion boards.
  • Acted successfully on behalf of two former international footballers in relation to comments made about them in the book and film 'The Damned Utd'.
  • Acted for a former director of Leeds United and his wife in relation to defamation proceedings and then a harassment action successfully pursued against the club and its former chairman, Ken Bates.
  • Acting for senior police officers, a former county councillor and others in relation to harassment proceedings pursued against individuals who had used the internet and emails to harass and seek to cause reputational damage over many years.
  • Acting for a lead Ofsted inspector who, having failed a school, was defamed by some governors in a letter to parents and in the local press.
  • Acting for the head and a principal to a school academy in harassment and defamation proceedings against parents and former pupils at the school who had created a Facebook site where defamatory comments were posted.
  • Advising an unincorporated association on defamatory articles posted on a website and successfully negotiating their swift removal.
  • Advising a social housing organisation on both corporate and personal reputational issues.
  • Advising individuals on Google ‘right to be forgotten’ requests.
  • Advising a company on the appropriate forum for proceedings in relation to defamatory comments circulated by an association in various jurisdictions.
  • Advising corporate and individual clients on a wide range of matters concerning the unlawful/unauthorised use of confidential information.

We're happy to provide you with an initial assessment and recommend preliminary action on a fixed-fee basis to provide you with certainty of cost.

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Court of Appeal ruling 'serious harm' - Defamation Act 2013

The Court of Appeal has handed down its first judgment on the interpretation of the ‘serious harm’ test under section 1(1) of the Defamation Act…

Peter Wake
Peter Wake Partner

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The Defamation Act 2013 - will it make a difference?

The Defamation Act came into force on 1 January 2014. This new Act will only apply to offences occurring after the commencement date.


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