Media Offences

Bright Line Law provides specialist advice on media issues concerning individuals and businesses, whether it be for defamation, privacy, data protection or breach of confidence, pre- or post- publication.

Defamation

Defamation can arise when a person publishes a statement which causes or is likely to cause serious harm to your reputation (or cause serious financial loss if you are a company). You can bring a defamation claim even if you are not named in the publication; it is important only that you are identifiable. You must start your defamation claim within one year of publication of the offending material. Defamation is split up into two separate offences: libel or slander. Libel will be found where the publication is permanent, e.g. in printed materials, or online, and even on social media. It can also be statements expressed on the television or radio. Slander, on the other hand, is where the statement is less permanent, such as the spoken word.  The four main defences available in a defamation case are privilege, truth, honest opinion, and public interest.

Privacy

An invasion of privacy can be defined as an unjustified disclosure of private information about an individual, which causes distress to the individual. The offending information must not be trivial and can include a variety of mediums such as photographs and video.  The court recognises that each individual should be able to enjoy a reasonable amount of privacy. However, what a public figure can reasonably expect to be private might not be the same for those without a public profile, the main defence being that there is a public interest in disclosure of the material. Another defence often used is that the material has already been made public.

If you or your business is facing accusations for media offences, or you if you have a privacy or defamation issue you wish to discuss with an expert, speak with a legal advisor who understands your circumstances and will be able to approach matters objectively. Bright Line Law can provide specialist advice on media issues, whether you require pre-publication guidance or expert litigation services. Bright Line Law is a barrister law firm led by Jonathan Fisher QC, providing specialist advisory, advocacy, litigation, policy and strategic services in all aspects of media law. Contact Jonathan Fisher QC directly at jf@brightlinelaw.co.uk or another member of our team or telephone us on + 44 (0)203 709 9470.

Jonathan Fisher QC
Lead Counsel

Email jf@brightlinelaw.co.uk
Telephone + 020 3872 2852

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