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  • LBA

    Hi all,

    I have received a LBA regarding posts Iím supposed to have made on FB. The company are making false claims against me saying Iíve made defamatory comments. I used to be admin on the group, so they are also saying Iím personally liable for other peopleís posts on the group. They are making things up such as I directly instructed members to breach their contract and carry out illegal/fraudulent activity. I feel upset and very angry about what they are claiming I have done.They have said they have reported me to the police. I have no idea what for. I have drafted a letter denying all of their claims and requesting evidence they say they have printed off. They havenít given me any evidence so far, but apparently they donít have to unless they take me to court. I am thinking of making a SAR in the letter to get the information they hold on me. Would this be a good idea? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  • #2
    A SAR is a good idea. But do it seperately to your letter, and as soon as possible.

    What are they wanting - damages? Significant harm to their business caused by yourself would have to be proven in court. If they can't prove it, they lose.

    My feeling is that they haven't contacted the police. Unless they are claiming hate speech I can't see the police being interested. And it looks like they are trying to scare you. And as they are trying to scare you with the police, it looks like they are bluffing over the whole thing.

    The SAR is a good place to start, and to follow up on. Non-compliance could open the door for you to take THEM to court. And a SAR puts them on notice that you aren't going to take it lying down.

    I would make any response letter quite curt - basically deny the claim but without giving many more details or requesting anything from them at this time.

    This would be a High Court matter, apparently, so quite serious. I think you might need legal representation if they start a claim. I wouldn't bother with that myself, as I can complete legal docs OK, and have a voice to tell the truth with. I wouldnt fancy having to study the procedure and rules, but rather that than pay someone else to do it.

    Once the claim is started, and evidence is provided, you'll have more of an idea of exactly what the allegations are. At that point you can refute them and see how it goes. Unless they are correct, of course, in which case you may want to consider settling - depending on how much they will settle for. Legal representation for a High Court defence isn't going to be cheap, so settling might be worth considering.

    If it did look like they had a good case I would consider making an apology and offering a token amount in settlement, then negotiate from there.

    Last edited by samsmoot; 6th September 2023, 17:50:PM.


    • #3
      I do not understand the relationship on FB - how can it be a group relating to a company? Is it a protest group against a company of some kind? If so there are many of them which make all sorts of comments against the companies which do not seem to be a problem!


      • #4
        Thank you for your replies. I canít think of a single thing I have said that could be classed as defamation. The Facebook group is a private group and has been for some months. Not sure how they can say their reputation has been damaged. I canít afford solicitor fees, so I will have to represent myself if they take me to court.

        Itís a complaint group. We have involved the government to assist us now. I feel this might be why they have started threatening us.


        • #5
          Reputation damage won't get them compensation if they can't show financial loss, from what I understand. I think they are coming it.

          Going to court isn't nice, so try and avoid it as best you can. If you do have to go, then get back on here for advice on the procedures/filling in forms etc.

          But I really think this is going nowhere.


          • #6
            Is the LBA from the company itself or internal or external solicitors?

            As a forum we (and some of our posters) have received numerous defamation from companies who are criticised on here and not a single one has gone on to issue proceedings. They know that defamation proceedings are necessarily complicated and expensive and use the threat of litigation as a form of inexpensive reputation management and this could well be what you're experiencing.


            • #7
              Thanks for your reply. Itís from a solicitor who used to work directly for the company not sure if he still does now. The owner can definitely afford the court costs. Unfortunately by trying to help myself and others sort out issues with the company I think Iíve made myself a target. At times I wish I had just given up and walked away. Donít think I have said anything wrong, but itís still causing me enormous amount of stress.


              • #8
                You have referred to the correspondence as a 'letter before action', LBA, but is this a formal letter of claim within the Defamation Pre-action Protocols or just a letter trying to frighten you into doing something with threats of future action?

                Are you able to upload a redacted copy of what you have received with all identifying information covered up?

                If this is a formal Letter of Claim within the Pre-action Protocol for defamation you have a limited time to respond.

                Pre-action Protocol for Media and Communications Claims - Civil Procedure Rules (justice.gov.uk)
                Last edited by PallasAthena; 8th September 2023, 13:30:PM.
                All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


                • #9
                  Thanks for your reply PALLASATHENA. Iím too scared to share the letter on here because even if I cover up the names I think it would reveal my identity due to the way itís written. I donít mind sharing it privately but not sure about openly sharing it.
                  The letter says itís a formal legal letter before action written in accordance with the practice direction on pre-action conduct and protocols (the practice direction). It says they intend to start legal proceedings against me. They say that what Iíve posted on FB has caused them financial loss. They say Iím personally liable for everyone elseís posts on the group. They have made lots of stuff up about me. They say Iím guilty of both civil and criminal activity.

                  They round up the letter with it is impossible at this point to quantify losses due to the ongoing nature of this issue. They will be expanding upon the head of loss and possible quantum in the legal action to be raised against me following this LBA. We reserve the right to delay commencement of such proceedings until the quantum of loss is better assessable, though we will raise such action within the permitted period after this LBA issued pursuant to the Practice Direction.

                  They tell me to cease any further FB posts to limit my personal liability.

                  They didnít give a time limit to respond, but I have responded within 14 days to cover myself. I have denied all their claims. I made a SAR. They say they have printed off evidence, so I have requested a copy.


                  • #10
                    Does this sound like a standard LBA? I feel so stressed by it all.


                    • #11
                      Well, they say it is a formal letter of claim "written in accordance with the practice direction on pre-action conduct and protocols (the practice direction)", and I gave you a link to the relevant practice direction in Post #8 earlier in the thread. Look at sections 3.1 and 3.2 which set out what a formal letter of claim ("LBA") should include.

                      If they say it is a formal letter of claim under the pre-action protocols, and if it includes everything relevant in sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the practice direction, and a claer statement that they will be bringing court proceedings, then it probably is a formal 'LBA'.

                      That can only be a guess though as we haven't seen it.

                      However as advised earlier in the thread High Court defamation claims are quite a serious matter so you should see a solicitor specialising in defamation cases and get some professional legal advice. Don't rely on my opinion - I'm not a lawyer.
                      Last edited by PallasAthena; 11th September 2023, 16:48:PM.
                      All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for your reply. They havenít given me any of the details in 3.2. I havenít been given a copy of the posts. I have no idea what they are talking about. I really donít think Iíve said anything wrong.


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