Olswang media partner Dan Tench has been instructed by US shock jock Michael Savage to launch libel proceedings against the former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
In May the Home Office named Savage as one of 16 people banned from the UK because they had been characterised as “preachers of hate”.
The list included Mike Guzovsky, a Jewish militant said to be the leader of a violent group actively involved with military training camps.
Justifying his inclusion on the list, Smith said Savage – a right-wing political broadcaster with a San Francisco radio show – was “someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it’s actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country”.
Savage has instructed Tench to seek a £100,000 settlement package from Smith for what he claims are libellous comments. If she fails to settle he will pursue Smith through the High Court for damages.
Last year Tench secured a High Court ruling on behalf of three national newspapers, including the Financial Times, that would give the media automatic access to court documents in judicial review cases (The Lawyer, 18 February 2008).