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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1630
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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I would like to know if I could take legal action (i.e. sue

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Hi, I would like to know if I could take legal action (i.e. sue for defamation) if someone who I've worked with spreads lies and false accusations about me. I'm a photographer and I've shot a model for an editorial for a fashion magazine. Because the model is not happy with some of the photos after the shoot, even though she agreed and consented to everything prior and during the shoot, her agent has now emailed me with several completely wrong and inaccurate accusations regarding my professional behaviour. I hold all the proofs to proof him wrong as I still have all our whatsapp and email conversations. Please let me know what legal action I could take, especially in case he tries to ruin my professional reputation and spread those lies to future clients and collaborators of mine. Thank you!

Hi. This is Ed. Thank you for requesting me. I am considering your question and will post my reply shortly.

You may have a cause of action in Defamation against the author of the statement.

You must issue court proceedings within one year of the statement first being published.

For a claimant to succeed in a Defamation Claim, the following conditions must be met:

1. The statement in question must be a false statement of fact;

2. The statement must be negative and derogatory to the extent that it is capable of lowering the claimant’s standing in the opinion of right-thinking members of society;

3. The statement in question identifies or refers to the claimant;

4. The statement in question was published to a third party;

5. The statement must be capable of causing the subject “serious harm” if allowed to stand.

There is no cause of action that sounds in damages in English civil law if another person simply lies to you, even if the lies are repeated and sustained over a long period of time. The lies must be tantamount to an attempt to defame or defraud you to the extent that they have caused you, or are capable of causing you, financial loss or serious reputational damage.

I suggest that you instruct specialist reputation management solicitors to send a letter of claim to the author of the statement and have them sign an express written undertaking not to repeat the comments as well as providing you with an express written apology, retraction and correction.

The Defamation Act 2013 introduced the “Serious Harm” test in Court Proceedings for Libel and Defamation Claims. Part of the rationale behind the reform in the law was to stop the High Court in London being the “Libel Tourism Capital of the World” and to prevent costly Court Claims for trivial and petty insults.

If the Claimant is an individual, the Court will consider whether the words complained of are likely to cause a “right thinking member of society” to lower their opinion substantially of the Claimant following sight of the words complained of. Therefore, a statement alleging that the Claimant was a murderer, a thief or a child abuser would meet the “Serious Harm” test as an outsider reading or hearing these words would almost certainly think less of the Claimant after reading them.

If the Claimant is a business, the Court will consider whether words complained of would be capable of persuading the Claimant’s existing clients and customers to withdraw their business and seek the goods or services elsewhere, while dissuading prospective clients and customers from doing business with the Claimant. A statement that alleged that the Claimant was incompetent or dishonest would probably meet the “Serious Harm” test.

In the early 1990s, the actor William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow on the long-running ITV soap opera “Coronation Street”, sued The Sun Newspaper who published a piece calling him “boring” and alleging that the rest of the show’s cast did not like him. Roache won his libel action and was awarded tens of thousands of pounds in damages by the Court. However, such a Defamation Claim is unlikely to satisfy the “Serious Harm” test of the Defamation Act 2013 as the words Roache complained of are unlikely to cause him financial loss as an actor and businessman, nor are they to adversely affect other people’s view of him.

This is a complicated matter which requires a detailed discussion where I can provide bespoke advice. I suggest that we have a detailed telephone discussion and can offer a Premium Service Phone Call. If you accept, I can pass you my direct contact details for a bespoke document review and telephone advice.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
thank you for sending over the detailed information Ed
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I run my own limited company and the agent is accusing me of several harmful and unprofessional actions such as failing to communicate with them, conspiring against them by working on this editorial with friends of mine without mentioning to them before that they were my friends as well as accusing me of trying to orientalise the model and shooting images of her that exoticise her Asian-ness all of which is untrue but very harmful for my professional reputation. Before I reply to him with all my proof and screenshots of our conversations I want to be sure that I know my rights
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
should he think about going public with those accusations on social media or tell those lies to other peers on the industry
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
which will harm me
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I also wanted to point out that the agent is based in Melbourne so I would like to know my options and possibilities as I'm based in the UK

Please accept my offer of a Premium Service Phone Call and I will be delighted to discuss the matter with you in detail.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi Ed, could you please answer me via messages here as I do not wish to pay an extra £48
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I have given you more information and questions

I have answered your questions as far as I am able to on the Portal. Obviously, there is a limited amount of advice I can give based on a few lines of text on the Just Answer instant messaging Portal. Very often the best I can do is “point you in the right direction” for the sake of seeking more detailed advice.

Instructing a solicitor to pursue a Defamation claim (especially against a party based in a foreign jurisdiction) will be an inherently costly and risk exercise and is beyond the scope of the services that Just Answer can provide.

If you want further bespoke advice, I need to review all relevant correspondence and documents and advise in a telephone call.

Otherwise, I shall be grateful if you will please give me a positive rating in order to close this thread.

Kind regards

Ed

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
thank you very much for your response. Can you please let me know your professional opinion regarding this matter? I would like to know what, in your opinion, is best to do for me in this case and if I should inform the accuser of the fact that if he chooses to spread those lies in public, I will take legal action?
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
appreciate your help on this

Yes, I would send the agency a warning email that you will enforce your legal rights in the English or Australian Court if they publish the remarks.

Ed Turner and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
alright, thank you Ed!