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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49866
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My name and that of several other work colleagues has been

Customer Question

My name and that of several other work colleagues has been used in presentations twice this year without permission.
Not only were names given but the presentation also included a competency matrix which reflected my abilities in what I would view a negative context.
The presentations are available on two conference websites for the public to view.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Do you have a specific query about your current situation?

JACUSTOMER-a59bdm1p- :

Hi Ben,

JACUSTOMER-a59bdm1p- :

I am considering taking my employer to court under the defamation act

JACUSTOMER-a59bdm1p- :

Sorry I thought this system was supposed to be a live chat?

Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, this was supposed to be a live chat but I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.

Whilst it is all good to consider suing the employer for defamation, this is far from easy and I will explain why below.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

  1. The statement has to be untrue.
  2. It must directly identify the claimant.
  3. It must have been made sufficiently public (communicating it to just a few people will not be enough).
  4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.
  5. The claimant must have suffered some form of special damage as a result of the comments (usually required to be some form of actual or potential financial damage, although in some cases damage to reputation can also be taken into account).

Consider whether all of the above criteria have been met. Even if they have, the claim will be pursued through the High Court. This inevitably makes such claims very complex and they require the professional help of specialist defamation lawyers. Therefore, they are very expensive and would cost thousands of pounds to pursue. There is no legal aid available so the claimant has to personally fund these costs.

Next, you need to consider whether the person that made the statement will be able to defend the claim. The following are acceptable defences:

  • Justification – the ultimate defence to a claim for defamation is showing that the statement was true;
  • Fair comment – if the comment was a view that a reasonable person could have held, even if they were motivated by dislike or hatred of the claimant;

Based on the above, it is clear that defamation is a complex and expensive area with no guarantee of success. It is traditionally an area reserved for big corporations or celebrities. I would therefore advise against pursuing a court claim for defamation. This is really an internal matter that needs to be pursued internally. As a starting point you can ask the employer to remove the offending material. If they refuse then you can consider raising a formal grievance to formally complain about this. Finally, if this has made it impossible for you to continue working there you can consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, subject to having at least 2 years' service with the employer. However, do not blindly go down the defamation route, most people do not even realise what they are getting involved with.

Ben Jones : I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much
JACUSTOMER-a59bdm1p- :

I thought the system offere live chat.To be honest 80 % of this answer

JACUSTOMER-a59bdm1p- :

I had already found with simple internet searches. The remaining answer did not cover, such things as "Offer to make amends" or different ways of financing a case offered by lawyers who deal with such matters. In essence you are telling me to walk away due to costs

Ben Jones :

You will not get financing on a case of defamation. legal aid is also not available. You have to fund all costs yourself and these will be huge. i am not telling you to just walk away due to costs but giving you a sensible answer based on years of experience where I know the complexity of such a claim and the inability of most people to successfully pursue one. If you have the money to burn then go ahead and sue, so apologies if I have underestimated your wealth but the above answer is based on the assumption you are just a 'normal' person who cannot afford to waste the thousands you are going to have to pay out to go down that route