Solicitor's Successful Libel Claim Against The Times
Judith Thompson 21-12-2023
A solicitor who was also a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party was forced to resign from his candidacy, after The Times newspaper published an article which included untrue statements about him.
In it's article, the newspaper wrote that the solicitor had been found guilty of professional misconduct, and said that a fine of £5,000 had been imposed by the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal. These were very serious allegations, which caused serious harm to the solicitor's reputation.
The true position was that the partners at the firm where the solicitor had worked previously, admitted that they had not advised clients properly. There was no finding that the solicitor or his firm had acted unethically. In fact, the SDT said that the firm had provided "a good high level of professional service to their clients”.
The solicitor sued The Times for libel, and The Times admitted that what they had published about him was entirely false. The Times made a statement in open court, apologising to the solicitor, and confirming that they had agreed to pay him a substantial sum in damages.
The solicitor confirmed his belief that the article in The Times was designed to harm his reputation, and was politically motivated, although this was not admitted by The Times.
This case demonstrates the devastating impact that untrue statements can have on the reputation of an individual, particularly when published in a supposedly reputable newspaper such as The Times.
Have you been libelled by a newspaper?
Newspapers deliver a huge amount of content every day, both online and in print. Inevitably, they make mistakes. Sometimes this is due to genuine errors, or to poorly researched articles, in but in other cases there can be more serious reasons behind the libel, such as the case against The Times.
In some cases, newspapers have mistakenly published photographs of individuals, linking them to crimes they did not commit.
If a newspaper has published libel about you, you may be able to claim compensation. You will need to prove that the words the newspaper has written about you have been read by other people, and that they have caused serious harm to your reputation.
You do not have to prove that what has been written about you is untrue - it is up to the paper to prove that what they have said is true.
If you want to bring a claim form libel against a newspaper, or anyone else who has published untrue words about you, we can help. At Samuels we have a team of expert defamation lawyers who have been assisting clients with libel and slander claims for many years.
If you contact us today, you will be able to speak to one of our experts for free.