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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Ive just stopped wiring for an independent publishing company.

Customer Question

I've just stopped wiring for an independent publishing company. it was unpaid with the promise of payment at a later date, once the company started making money. The money isn't the issue. A decision was made by the financial person that I disagreed with. For me it fundamentally changed the nature of the company and threatened to compromise the work of the artists and authors involved. I couldn't be part of that, so I left. I wrote to the contributors and the people I'd worked with an explained why I was leaving and what he changes that prompted me to make that decision. I stated that these were my reasons, my principles and the fundamental change had left something of a bad taste in my mouth and that as I had been working towards ideals and goals, I felt duped and used into working for nothing. I was clear to say that my reasons and principles were not to influence anyones decision to stay with the company and carry on contributing or not. I even said that I would support them and not think any less of them if they stayed with the company. I received a letter saying that the company had been twisting my words and telling lies about my departure. I wrote to them and asked that despite leaving I had continued to support the company by telling the contributors who contacted me that they shouldn't take my actions as an indication of how they should proceed and that I would support them whatever their decision, I have also removed negative comments about the the company from my timeline from well meaning friends. I asked him to stop spreading lies and half truths and got the following response:

"There will be a lot of people who worked hard who will be punished because of your f**king principle. And they will know. I will make sure everyone knows, via the blog, via the web page, in status updates, that Beasts got axed because you're f**king insane.

You have a choice; you can smooth this over and make sure the people involved in this get what they deserve, which is a good book, or I'm going to start by making this email public."

I'm basically being blackmailed with the threat of libel into doing something I have no control over and having my character defamed and besmirched. What can I do? I am genuinely scared about this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Did you say anything that was untrue?

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

No.

Alex Watts :

Ok - then do not worry

Alex Watts :

As long as you are not saying something like xxx person is a thief that would be differnet

Alex Watts :

But if someone tries to sue you, one defence is something called fair comment

Alex Watts :

Otherwise newspapers would not be able to publish anything

Alex Watts :

But it is likely this is just a threat.

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

No, nothing like that,just that my principles were compromised.

Alex Watts :

In reality if they wanted to take you to Court then it would cost them around £15,000 at least because proceedings need to be issued in the High Court.

Alex Watts :

Further they are specialist proceedings so need a specialist Solicitor and Barrister

Alex Watts :

I can not see them spending this

Alex Watts :

But in any event fair comment such as principle compromised is just that

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

I don't think they are threatening to take anyone to court, just publish stuff online and make my next job as difficult as possible.

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Yes of course.

Alex Watts :

Indeed.

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Well thefguy who funds the company is a multimillionaire, so it would be water off a ducks back to him.

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Is there anything I can do to stop him ?

Alex Watts :

Sadly not.

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Legally, obviously :-)

Alex Watts :

You can't stop someone from threatening or issuing proceedings

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

No but what do I do when he does start libelling me? Can I stop him doing that? Or is it one of those "we can do nothing until it happens" things? I keen to not engage, and indeed I won't engage with online conversation, but he can and will do me a lot of damage.

Alex Watts :

Again it would be the same process, High Court proceedings - £15,000 cost.

Alex Watts :

Unless you get a Solicitor to write and ask him to stop., Cost about £300

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Does that achieve anything? or is it just a polite request?

Alex Watts :

Its a polite request or from a Solicitor it may get them to stop

Alex Watts :

But equally they could call your bluff

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

So really, bearing in mind I have just spent my last 40 quid (not a dig btw), I really have to just ride it out.

Alex Watts :

Sadly yes.

Alex Watts :

Anything else I can help you with?

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Not really. Looks like I'm going to have to remain terrified. :-(

Alex Watts :

I am sorry.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Thanks for your time.

Alex Watts :

All the best

Alex Watts :

I hope you get through this

JACUSTOMER-95mpt52s- :

Dunno what to say. thanks.

Alex Watts :

No problem

Alex Watts :

Please do take a moment to leave feedback before you go today

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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