Fraser Chambers London Barristers


We have experience in a wide range of defamation proceedings, ranging from pre-action advice to fully contested High Court clams and appeals.

Fraser Chambers has expertise in bringing and defending claims in defamation, including the defence of public interest, appearing in the key case about public interest before the Supreme Court, Serafin v M.

Fraser Chambers also has expertise in resolving disputes at the pre-action stage or after proceedings have been issued.  Many claims in defamation also have elements of harassment, an area in which Fraser Chambers can also advise.

We have experience in a wide range of defamation proceedings, ranging from pre-action advice to fully contested High Court clams and appeals.

Following a clear letter before claim, many publishers agree to remove defamatory content or correct it so that it is no longer defamatory.

Publications about individuals and companies are frequently made online, allowing a claim to be made in the Courts of England and Wales.

Under section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013, a statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the Claimant.

It is not uncommon for the subject not to be directly named.  However, this is not necessarily fatal to any claim for defamation, provided that it can be shown that reference is being made to the Claimant.

Modern defamation claims have a preliminary trial on the issue of the meaning of the words used.  That allows the parties to take stock after the preliminary trial and consider whether to settle the claim.,

A common defence that is mounted in defamation proceedings is that the publisher f the comment is acting in the public interest.  A recent Court of Appeal case (Serafin v Malkiewicz [2019] EWCA Civ 852) adopted quite a strict approach to this defence, although this case is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court in 2020, when the scope of this defence will hopefully be further clarified.


Practicing Defamation Barristers

Recent Defamation Cases

Defamation claim against landlord

December 20th, 2021|

Dr Anton van Dellen represented a tenant who is bringing a defamation claim against his landlord and another individual. The Claimant claims that defamatory statements were made about him to his electricity provider.  The hearing in the High Court granted the Claimant’s application for a claim for an injunction [...]

Hearing in TV broadcast defamation proceedings

December 1st, 2021|

Dr Anton van Dellen represented a TV broadcasting company who is being sued for defamation by a prominent political figure. In the hearing in the High Court, the Judge ordered that a preliminary trial on meaning be heard on paper only, with sequential written submissions.  Anton drew the Judge's [...]

High Court hearing about harassment

July 16th, 2021|

Dr Anton van Dellen represented the Claimant in proceedings involving reports to different statutory agencies. Anton's client had been reported to his professional regulator and the Home Office by his former partner.  The hearing was before Mr Justice Saini.  Anton was instructed by North Ford solicitors. [...]

Recent Defamation News

Third six pupillage

January 5th, 2022|

Fraser Chambers invites applications for third-six pupillage from candidates who have completed pupillage and who can demonstrate an interest in defamation and commercial law to service our High Net Worth client base. Part of the third six pupillage may involve secondment at a firm of solicitors. Bar Council Ad [...]

John Edwards begins as new Information Commissioner

January 4th, 2022|

Mr Edwards, who joins on a five year term, spent the past eight years as New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, and before that worked as a barrister. He succeeds Elizabeth Denham CBE, whose term as UK Information Commissioner ended last year.  He will be actively engaging with the government over the [...]

Civil Justice Council report for consultation on Pre-Action Protocols

November 17th, 2021|

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has published a report which considers what role Pre-Action Protocols (PAPs) should play in an increasingly digitalised civil justice system.  The report canvasses a number of reform options: Making all PAPs available online via portals. Formally recognising that compliance with PAPs would be mandatory, except [...]

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