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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 47909
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Is my sales page Libel and Slanderous according to UK law? I

Customer Question

Is my sales page Libel and Slanderous according to UK law?

I want to know if it's going to get me in to trouble as it's controversial!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a new betting product ready for release.


The sales page is quite controversial and it talks about the recently banned horse racing trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni who was banned for giving his horses steriods. This was widely publicised in the media.


Basically what I want to know is can he take legal action against me for the contents of this page.


Copy of the page here





Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.
Forgive me for being so blunt but it is really important and basic.
How much money does he have and how much money do you have?
Is every single comment onyr site backed up with evidence?
Is he rich? Are you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is very rich Multi millionaire.


I am not rich.


All info has been taken off the news websites.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.

Be careful as you are more likely to run out if money in litigation than he is before it actually gets to court even if ultimately he loses.

Many cases like this are lost simply because the party with the best case runs out of money long before it gets to court.

Be careful of naming him and publishing anything other than things which others have published and links to sites referring to this.

Does that answer the question?

Can I help further? I am happy to answer specific points.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
no help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:
1. The statement has to be untrue.
2. It must directly identify the claimant.
3. It must have been made sufficiently public (communicating it to just a few people will not be enough).
4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.
5. The claimant must have suffered some form of special damage as a result of the comments (usually required to be some form of actual or potential financial damage, although in some cases damage to reputation can also be taken into account).

In your case, calling someone a 'cheat' can certainly be seen to potentially amount to defamation even if there is evidence that they may have been dishonest in the past. I would only advise that you use such a term if someone else, for example a judge, or a formal body, has used it against this person in the past. You would then simply be quoting another party rather than conveying your own personal opinion that this person was a cheat.

Even if others have made the allegations against this person in the past, republishing already defamatory statements would still count as defamation on your part and you cannot just say that you were simply quitting someone to avoid liability.

Also my colleague made a very valid point in relation to the resources of each party in a claim for defamation. If you are being sued by a multi millionaire, he can get the best lawyers out there who know exactly how to play the game and the court system and you can easily find yourself on the losing side just because you are not able to afford your own lawyers anymore or continue alone and simply do not know how to defend a claim for defamation, which is a very complex matter.

So if this person takes offence at what you have written about him, it would be very easy for him to commence aggressive legal action against you because of this. You would then be in an unenviable position of having to defend yourself and it is likely to cost quite a bit as defamation proceedings are complex and lengthy.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What would happen if I removed Mahmood Al Zarooni name and used a made up one instead with everything else the same?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
whilst that would help, if there are enough facts to link the information you have provided to the actual person that may still be an issue if they found out about it