Insolvent solicitor Michael Freeman, who has declared debts of u1.5 million, is taking action to defend his reputation by seeking an apology and retraction from London's Evening Standard newspaper after it published several news stories about him.
Freeman's solicitors, Jay Benning Levine & Peltz, wrote to the Evening Standard last week claiming that two articles published in September were inaccurate and that the second one was “grossly inaccurate and highly defamatory”.
The letter says “the suggestion of impropriety is entirely spurious and utterly without merit and is highly defamatory of our client”.
The letter addresses a series of “principal defamatory allegations” followed by Freeman's refutations of each claim.
It rejects a number of allegations, including one claim that Freeman was “cynically exploiting Lloyd's Names for his own financial reward”, and that he was “incompetent” to act on behalf of Lloyd's names given his previous professional experience.
The letter states that Freeman is seeking to protect the interests of oppressed Names and he has advised Lloyd's Names throughout his career and his reasoned and balanced advice is unaffected by his individual voluntary arrangement.
Evening Standard managing editor Craig Orr acknowledges receipt of the letter. “We are looking into it,” he says.