- General damages awarded for libel causing serious financial loss (Summerfield Browne v Waymouth)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
TMT analysis: In a recent judgment, Master Cook made an award of general damages assessed as £25,000 as a result of the libel of a firm of solicitors through comments posted online through Trust Pilot. Having submitted a defence that failed to comply with the CPR, the defendant then failed to engage with the proceedings in any meaningful way. In correspondence with the court, the defendant repeated the libelous allegations. He then failed to attend an application hearing to strike out parts of his defence, failed to amend the defence as ordered and failed to attend a summary judgment hearing at which relief was granted. The solicitors’ firm did not secure the special damages they were seeking for lost instructions, calculated as being £300 per day, on the basis that the witness statements they submitted failed to provide any accounting evidence. The firm did obtain injunctive relief against the defendant. Written by Joshua Marshall, senior associate, at Fieldfisher LLP.
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