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

Dramatic change in s.4 public interest defence

June 3rd, 2020|

In Serafin v Malkiewicz [2020] UKSC 23 The Supreme Court has approved a fundamental change in the way in which the s.4 public interest defence operates, effectively lowering the threshold at which the defence is engaged and swinging the pendulum towards freedom of speech. Lord Wilson (with whom the four [...]

Dr Anton van Dellen Represents Appellants in Supreme Court

March 23rd, 2020|

The Supreme Court heard the case of Serafin v Malkiewicz over 17 and 18 March 2020. The appeal concerned the breadth of the s.4 public interest defence under the Defamation Act 2013 and the extent to which a first instance Judge's conduct could render a trial unfair. Judgment has [...]

Recent Defamation News

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, successful in summary judgment

February 11th, 2021|

Shortly before his elevation to the Court of Appeal, Warby J has handed down judgment in the application for summary judgment. A key element of the application was that a letter sent by the Duchess to her father, Thomas Markle, should not have been published as it was private.  [...]

Bar Council Q&A session on Covid-19

February 1st, 2021|

The expert panel will be led by the Bar Council’s Services Director and Chair of the Covid-19 Working Group, Carolyn Entwistle. The panel will include Chair of the Bar, Derek Sweeting QC, HHJ Rosalind Coe QC, Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, James Mulholland QC, and Chair of the [...]

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