No Win No Fee Defamation Cases on the Rise

Judith Thompson

To speak to an expert solicitor about a defamation case, call 01271 343457 today. 

A report earlier this year confirmed that defamation cases involving social media have increased by around 38%. This figure however is likely to be the tip of the iceberg as it only relates to cases which have come to Court and have been reported. The vast majority of online libel cases will settle without ever getting near a Court.

What are defamation, libel and slander?

Defamation is the term given to a statement which is untrue, which causes harm to another individual. Defamation can be libel (which is something written down which is untrue) or slander (which is something that is spoken which is untrue). 

Anything which is posted on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or on review sites such as Tripadvisor or Google Reviews, is capable of being classed as libel, if what is said is not true.

How to prove a libel case

Under The Defamation Act 2013 the Claimant has to convince the court that "serious harm" has been caused to their reputation by the defamation. This can be difficult to prove, but in certain cases of extreme libel, such as where a Claimant has been accused online of being a paedophile, it is more straightforward to convince the Court that serious harm has been caused to their reputation. 

Mr Justice Warby has said that serious harm can be inferred in obvious cases such as allegations of conspiracy to murder or serious sexual crime. For other cases however, the implication is that proof of serious harm will be required. 

Is posting online the same as publishing?

What many people do not realise is that when they tweet or post something on Facebook, they are publishing material. If that material is defamatory, they can be held liable for damages under The Defamation Act.

Whilst freedom of speech is a generally accepted right in this country, with that comes responsibility. Whilst people may feel free to say what they like, they must also accept that where the statements they make are untrue, and cause harm to others, they can be held liable, for libel. 

Are libel claims expensive?

Libel and slander claims can be expensive to bring, unless you can find a Solicitor willing to act under the terms of a no win no fee agreement. 

No win no fee agreements are available for defamation claims, including libel and slander, where your case has a good prospect of success.

What to do next

Samuels Solicitors, based in Devon, have a wealth of experience of bringing claims for libel and slander against individuals, websites and newspapers. We also regularly act for defendants to defamation claims. We generally act for clients under the terms of no win no fee agreements, meaning that if you lose, you do not have to pay any fees to us. 

If you have been the victim of libel on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media, or the victim of slander, contact us today to discuss your case.