Empirical insights into corporate defamation: an analysis of cases decided 2004–2013

David Acheson

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This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of all judgments handed down by the High Court, Court of Appeal, and House of Lords in defamation claims brought by corporate claimants between 2004 and 2013. The intention is to widen the range of methods with which to assess both common arguments for reforming corporate defamation law, and the ‘serious financial loss’ requirement imposed on most corporate claimants by s 1(2) of the Defamation Act 2013.
The results of the study add weight to some of the arguments put forward in support of the removal of the corporate right to sue. The research also highlights the difficulty of finding a principled and effective distinction between different kinds of corporate claimant. It suggests that this exercise may be both impossible and counter-productive, and recommends that all non-human claimants should be treated in the same way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-66
JournalJournal of Media Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2016


  • WNU
  • Defamation
  • financial loss
  • abuse of process
  • systematic analysis


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