Online Reputation Management: recent case highlights

13 Mar 2015

1. We obtained a “revenge porn” privacy injunction to prevent the publication and distribution of intimate photographs of our client.  Because the subject matter of the proceedings was deeply private, we obtained an order that the proceedings should be anonymised so our client could not be identified. We had to act very quickly to protect our client’s privacy and we succeeded in persuading the court to make an order for the delivery up and destruction of the photographs.

2. We obtained a harassment injunction on behalf of a businessman who was subjected to a sustained campaign of online abuse and harassment when he ended his relationship with a woman he had dated only briefly. She created fake LinkedIn and Facebook profiles in our client’s name and contacted our client’s staff and business partners making false, malicious and highly defamatory allegations about our client. We obtained a court order which, amongst other things, prevented her from communicating with our client, posting any information about our client online, and precluded her from coming within a specified distance of our client’s home address.

3. We obtained a court order against one of the UK’s leading online business directories, requiring them to provide information which helped us to identify an individual who had posted defamatory comments about our client’s business whilst hiding behind an internet pseudonym. The identifying information we received proved that the individual responsible for the defamatory comments was a disgruntled former employee of our client. As a result, we recovered on behalf of our client a payment of damages, legal costs and an apology.

4. Acting for a successful professional in the financial services sector who was being subjected to a campaign of online harassment and abusive text messages, as was his wife. We secured written undertakings from the individual responsible that she would immediately and permanently cease all communications with our client, his family and business associates and which precluded her from coming within a specified distance of our client’s home address.

5. Acting for a member of parliament and successfully resisting a claim for a harassment injunction brought against her which was entirely without foundation. The judge struck out the claim as vexatious and an abuse of process and awarded our client all her costs.  The Claimants tried to have the court’s decision set aside and when that failed they sought (unsuccessfully) to appeal that Court’s decision.

6. Securing the acquittal of our client who had been accused of stalking a man with whom she had had a relationship. We argued a novel point of law which resulted in the case being dismissed. We also successfully resisted the application for a restraining order on the grounds that it was neither necessary nor appropriate, thereby ensuring that our client’s professional life was unhindered.

7. Acting for parents whose daughter was being bullied via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Her school headmistress refused to engage in the issue because the bullying was taking place ‘outside school premises’.  The bullies’ parents were put on notice by us that their children’s conduct must cease with immediate effect and we were successful in getting all photographs and online posts targeting the daughter of our clients removed from social media.

8. Acting for an individual and his girlfriend who were both being bombarded with unwanted emails, text messages and phone calls from a previous girlfriend.  We sent her a cease and desist letter and managed to obtain an undertaking from her that she would not contact either party or any of their friends, family or work colleagues using any means.

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