Dealing with a libel threat (UK law)

Someone – an individual, a company or a legal representative on their behalf – writes, emails or phones you to say that something you wrote about them is libellous. They want you to take down the material, or maybe apologise, and they may threaten to pursue legal action if you don’t. What do you do?

Online journalists and writers often don’t have institutional support and easy access to legal advice. How you react in the first few weeks after you receive a threat is crucial in deflecting an unfounded claim or correcting something you got wrong.

See this new pamphlet (from the Association of British Science Writers) about what to do when you receive such a threat. Download the pamphlet (pdf).

Thanks to Nicholas Newman of Oxford Prospect for alerting me to this advice.