• English Defamation Law - the Requirement for "Serious Harm" and Other Important Changes Impacting the Protection of Your Reputation
  • January 8, 2014 | Author: James Kitching
  • Law Firm: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP - London Office
  • The Defamation Act 2013 came into force in England and Wales on 1 January 2014. It introduces a new requirement for companies and individuals to demonstrate "serious harm" to their reputations in order to establish a claim. In respect of businesses and other bodies that trade for profit, this requires proof that the statement has caused, or is likely to cause, "serious financial loss". The Act also implements new measures to address concerns over libel tourism and forum shopping. Where a libel action is brought against a person who is not domiciled in the U.K., an E.U. member state or a state which is a party to the Lugano Convention (Switzerland, Iceland and Norway), a court will not have jurisdiction unless it is satisfied that, of all the places in which the statement was published, England and Wales is clearly the most appropriate forum to bring an action. The Act, therefore, effects significant changes to English defamation law designed to enhance the interests of defendants and to promote free speech.