We live in a society that values free speech (and wouldn’t have it any other way!). However, the limits of free speech are reached where a person (or company) starts spreading lies about you in the public space. This is where the law of Defamation can help individuals (and small companies) who have suffered damage to their reputations as a consequence of such unscrupulous conduct.
If one person has communicated information about you (or your small business) to another person, and that information is defamatory (and untrue), then you will have the basis for a claim in defamation.
Generally, before commencing defamation proceedings, we will encourage you to seek settlement. This could take the form of a public retraction and/or apology, and in some cases the payment of damages. Usually, we are able to get quick and decisive outcomes for our clients at a minimal cost. However if settlement is not forthcoming, and you are inclined to take it further, we can represent you in court proceedings.
As a business, an alternative to defamation can be an allegation of injurious falsehood. To win on an injurious falsehood claim you must satisfy a court of three points:
Firstly, that a false statement has been made regarding your goods or business. Secondly, that that statement has been published to at least one other person. Thirdly, that it was published with malice (that is, with an intention of injuring your business). Finally, for such a claim to be compensable you must have proof of actual damage suffered as a consequence of the statement.
These causes of action can be a critical and powerful means of protecting the reputation of yourself and your business, and for many people this represents their livelihood. If you think you have been defamed, or suffered an injurious falsehood, we can help.