Hussein & Ors v Hamilton Franks & Co Ltd & Anr (2013)

The Husseins, the Applicants were a family who lived in the USA but were of British nationality. The mother and father were doctors. Although living in the States they retained substantial connections in the UK. The libel concerned a section on the website of Hamilton Franks & Co Ltd , the Respondents referred to as the “blacklist”

The website had details of their names, date of births, email and residential addresses and the name of their company on the list. The website made allegations against them of fraud and deception as to business transactions and that they had reported the two doctors to their medical board as a result of their fraudulent conduct.

The family had persons in the UK contact them as to the entries.

Proceedings were issued but the respondent failed to acknowledge the proceedings and the applicants applied to the court for default judgment.

The application was granted. There had been no acknowledgment or defence. The words were defamatory and had the meaning that they had committed acts of fraud and deception, were unsafe to do business with and that their conduct had been so serious that it warranted investigation by their regulatory body.

The website operated in the jurisdiction and whilst the damage to their reputation in this country would not have been as great as in the UK it was still very damaging to them.

An injunction was granted to remove the publication and damages awarded of £40,000.

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