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What is the allegation?
Ok. But what I need to know is what is the allegation that was made?
To be wholly honest, I think you would struggle to establish that amounted to defamation. It is untrue. It is mildly unpleasant. It is not really sufficient to cause 'serious damage' to your reputation as the new law demands. If that were made public your friends would not shun you.
That said, it is untrue and I think you would challenge it. You could get a solicitor to write to her warning her of the laws of defamation. She doesn't have to have defamed you on this specific occasion to do that and, in fairness, she is sailing close the wind.
Another alternative is to just press reply all with your findings and ask for an apology. That has the advantage of being free and a public denial and also has the effect of shaming her.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Any high street firm would be fine. Probably about £100 plus cat. A barrister under public access is slightly cheaper.
Not all of them have done the course and not all have done the top up course allowing them to write letters.
You can try here