Defamation damages a person’s reputation by speech (slander) or in writing (libel).
Being involved in a defamation action can be costly and stressful for all parties. We endeavour to bring about a satisfactory resolution in as short a time as possible, avoiding the need for litigation where possible. We also have considerable expertise in the area of dealing with the media if it is required.
Acting for those who have been defamed
In a circumstance where a client believes he/she has been defamed, an immediate goal is to minimise the damage by seeking a retraction or initiating other types of action to limit the spread of harmful content. We also advise our clients on courses of action available to them that may enable them to be compensated for the damage caused by the defamation. Where litigation is advisable, we identify a litigation strategy and conduct the case on our client’s behalf to seek a result that is as advantageous to them as possible.
Acting for those who have defamation claims brought against them
Our goal is to help clients to avoid having claims brought against them in the first place by offering advice before any defamatory publication is made. However, if defamation is claimed, we offer advice and guidance to help our clients to deal with the claim. If the claim proceeds to litigation, we act on behalf of our client throughout the process to help expedite an outcome that is as favourable as possible.
Defamation in relation to corporations
Whilst many corporations are unable to sue for defamation if a company or business has been defamed, other options may be available. For example, where a person wilfully makes statements known to be incorrect with the express purpose of injuring a corporation’s reputation, potential remedies may be available through the tort of injurious falsehood. We provide advice in this area to help minimise injury to our client’s business and we can also pursue actions on our client’s behalf to seek compensation for damages caused.
We also represent business clients against whom a claim of defamation has been made. With an increasing number of online platforms available, many businesses have dramatically increased the amount of material they publish. We offer pre-publication advice to minimise the legal risk of issues arising from publication. Examples of this include inadvertently publishing material that contains meanings that are defamatory to a competitor, or that breach privacy or competition and consumer law legislation.