A question of success

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  • If I had a commercial dispute and was claiming £20k in damages, it would be a one-day hearing with capped costs.
    Given that most defamation claims are for less than that, why is defamation treated differently? The extra £200k of costs spent probably do not affect the result at all...

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  • Let me get this right - the media, and their friends the Government, are proposing to abolish CFAs in libel cases (apart from the ridiculously blatant ones) and send us back to the old days when the press and others could tell lies about anybody who wasn't a millionaire, without risk of redress
    Why is this felt to be a good thing?

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  • Shed no tears for the majority of libel claimant solicitors. They have brought the current situation on themslves by their greed over the last 10 years.
    And as to the previous comment, the author clearly knows nothing about the way the overwhelming majority of journalists operate.
    Surely s/he doesn't honestly believe our free press is based lies?

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  • I completely disagree with these ridiculous 'cost cutting' excersizes. England was once the home of the high paced, high cost, swashbuckling libel action; ah the romanticism of the fight. What these labourish/ist politicians don't realise is that if the media moguls don't wish to be landed with huge bills for both recompense and costs, then all they have to do is not libel anyone in their hegmonic rags. I mean, come on, it's not like they can't afford it anyway, they're rolling in lolly...

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  • Journalists shouldn't write anything they are claiming is fact unless they can prove it is true. If they do libel someone through malice or negligence then they and their employers should pay the price. If they report only the truth (and they can prove it) then they won't have to pay a single penny to libel claimant solicitors.

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  • Former journalist - you have not kept up to date - telling the truth is no defence, read the Simon Singh case. How do you feel about journalists who strive to bring the truth about corruption only to have the likes of Schillings attempting to prevent the facts coming into the public domain as with Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso.
    The good thing is that every time we debate privacy and libel in the UK the very thing the Claimants have sought to conceal is regurgitated and some injunctions have spectacularly backfired – Trafigura, Tiger Woods.
    Sharon Stone, Ashley Cole, Frank Warren, Cherie Booth and Naomi Campbell have all used CFAs. The common denominator is that these are wealthy people for whom the CFA was not intended and by their avarice lawyers have killed their own cash cow

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  • Have some of the above commenters actually been following recent events? It's not just persistently mendacious newspapers like the Daily Mail (a record number of PCC complaints upheld against them despite their editor Paul Dacre heading up the PCC!) that are falling foul of the libel laws. Google Simon Singh to find out how pernicious recent rulings have been. Private Eye has also been covering this in full. Properly researched investigative journalism is at risk.

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