Defamation by shareholder
How incredible it is that a single shareholder in a PLC can cause the company tremendous amounts of financial damage just by using Twitter and other social media. Defamation by shareholders, often disgruntled shareholders, against their own company, is one of the most irrational acts that we have seen in recent years.
In the case of the international gold mining company RRR and its shareholder Gary Carp, the consequences of Mr Carp posting defamation against the company were particularly serious to the company and to the thousands of investors who at one point saw the value of their shares plummeting very sharply.
The company was left with no choice but to issue legal proceedings against its shareholder in order to protect the interest of the rest of its shareholders who were being scared off by dangerous speculation and by highly defamatory conversations that Mr Carp initiated on various investors’ forums.
This was probably the first ever case in the UK of a PLC suing a shareholder over defamation on internet forums and on Twitter. The dilemma that the company faced, whether legal action for defamation against a shareholder would be viewed as a bullying act or whether it would be accepted as an act of protection, appreciated by other investors, was resolved very quickly when following the successful law suit, it received nothing but positive and encouraging feedback from its investors. The investors viewed the initiation of legal proceedings against their fellow shareholder as a demonstration of leadership by the company’s board of directors rather than an oppressive act and their confidence in the company grew. Read about the case of legal action against a shareholder instructed by Cohen Davis solicitors here.
We imagine that we are detectives when we post on the internet our suspicious about almost anything. On the internet you could be anyone and everyone.
We imagine that we are a prosecutor a Judge and a Jury and all at the same time when we write our critical opinion about a person or about a business;
Read more on defamation solicitor blog
By: Yair Cohen
Our client asked:
Recently I purchased a luxury car from a respectable dealership. I ended up having a very bad experience and wrote the following review:
“I was horrified with the service and my experience was terrible. Don’t use this company”.
Today I received a letter from the dealership’s lawyers threatening me with legal action for defamation. Can I be sued just for saying that I had bad experience?
Our defamation lawyer answered:
Generally speaking, if you make statements such as “horrific” and “terrible” without being able to back them up with facts, and without giving all the relevant information in a balanced way, then you could be liable for defamation against the company because your statement is lowering the reputation of the company in the eyes of right minded people.
Some business owners still find it challenging to have their marketing efforts incorporated into a full reputation management strategy.
So what is the difference between “marketing” and “online reputation management”? Are they one of the same or should each be treated completely separately?
Read more on Social media lawyer’s website
Author: Yair Cohen
Handling the Media in a Crisis: Why advance preparation to effectively deal with online reputation crisis management will pay off.
Handling the media during times of crisis following online defamation has almost always proven to be a challenging task for the large, medium as well as for the smaller commercial organisation.
Defensiveness often results in the opposite consequences of what was intended, making things much worst for the already suffering company with otherwise perfectly workable messages being twisted and manipulated to cause your organisation maximum damage.
On the other hand, silence could be construed as admission of guilt…Read more on defamation crisis by
Internet Law Lawyers – London