Expert Comments On Lessons To Learn From Case
A high-profile legal battle launched by the renowned chef Gordon Ramsay over claims of defamation by a former associate highlights just how important reputation can be in the world of business, a disputes lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has outlined.
Ramsay, who is also a well-known TV personality, has launched action against Danny Lavy after the latter suggested that the chef was too busy to promote a joint restaurant project which they were launching in Canada and failed to meet the terms of a licensing agreement.
The chef’s argument is that he was only involved to offer the use of his brand and also offer recipe ideas, and that he was under no obligation to visit and actively promote the eatery. He is also arguing that the claims by Lavy could impact on the commercial value of his name.
According to Rebekah Finch, a solicitor specialising in Reputation Management issues at Irwin Mitchell, the high-profile nature of the case has put the issues of defamation and reputation management and how they can impact on businesses firmly in the spotlight.
She outlines: “Reputation is undoubtedly a huge aspect of business and, in the current economic climate, both large and small companies often find it can be vital to their success in building on existing relationships and developing new ones.
“This type of case highlights why, when entering into business agreements, parties should make clear exactly what their responsibilities are.
“However, in the event of a dispute, parties should consider carefully what comments are made and to whom, in case they can be considered defamatory or damaging to the reputation of the other party. This is particularly important in the 21st Century where the significant growth of social media means that such comments can be circulated very quickly to a vast number of people.”
Rebekah added that it is vital for anyone with such reputational concerns to always seek professional legal advice.
She outlined: “Acting quickly can help to limit the level of damage caused and, by gaining advice, people can move to correct any falsehoods or untruths by asking those responsible to retract the comments and by contacting relevant publishers for their assistance.
“While such action can often end the matter, there are cases where lawyers can work with parties to achieve a quick and effective resolution of the dispute by way of legal proceedings.
“The limitation period for issuing defamation claims is one year from the date of the publication so parties must act quickly. If Court proceedings are necessary, the parties must also be able to demonstrate to the Court that they have acted quickly to minimise any potential damage if they are to fully highlight the seriousness of the issue.”