Our specialist harassment lawyers can advise you effectively on all aspects of harassment law, including cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, harassment relating to boundary disputes, stalking, harassment by neighbours and harassment by the media.
The service is backed up by specialist solicitors, the specially designed Harassment Law Database and our unique relationships with specialist cyber investigators and specialist barristers.
Our clients include including members of the House of Lords, celebrities, singers, actors, performers, business people, company directors, charities and housing associations.
We are one of the leading law firms in the area of harassment law and our solicitors have extensive experience of acting in the County and High Courts on a variety of harassment related claims.
Please call our dedicated Hotline for confidential advice or information on any harassment-related matter.
020 7429 3906 — Lines open 9am–9pm — 7 days a week
Although we are based in the City of London we act for clients throughout England and Wales.
Neumans LLP, 11 Pilgrim Street, London EC4V 6RN
Harassment, Defamation and Breach of Privacy
Our civil harassment work, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is often tied in to other causes of action such as defamation and breach of privacy. We are well renowned for our harassment, defamation and privacy work and often act for ‘household names’ including celebrities and parliamentarians. Much of our work is conducted and settled without the client having to face the distress, costs and publicity of court hearings.
It is often tactically beneficial to stop breaches of privacy and defamatory publications by obtaining an injunction using the Harassment Act and/or using harassment as (properly justified) further cause of action.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Civil harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (Harassment Act) prohibits a person (or group of persons) from knowingly pursuing a course of conduct of harassment of another person (or group of persons).
A course of conduct is defined as harassment on more than one occasion. Harassment is defined as including causing the person alarm or distress. The acts complained of should be unwanted and "oppressive and unacceptable".
Although the Harassment Act contains criminal provisions, Section 3 of the Harassment Act creates a claim in civil proceedings by the victim or potential victim. This usually manifests itself as an application for an injunction, damages and costs in the County or High Court. Damages may be awarded for (amongst other things) any anxiety and/or for financial loss caused by the harassment.
In civil proceedings the standard of proof is on a balance of probabilities (rather than the higher criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt). If a person (or group of persons) is being harassed and the police or CPS will not prosecute then they can apply to their local County or High Court for a civil injunction.
Any Harassment Act injunction may also create an exclusion zone to stop any harasser from entering a defined area.
A successful claim for harassment can result in an injunction, damages and legal costs. A breach of an injunction order may result in the guilty party being held in contempt of court or facing a criminal charge.
Other Legal and Commercial Disputes
Harassment often occurs within the context of a wide range of disputes, including boundary disputes, nuisance maters, possession actions, disputes with builders, dealings with debt collectors and general commercial disputes. Neumans LLP has established a strong base in commercial and civil disputes. We have found that it is often tactically beneficial to plead harassment as a (properly justified) further cause of action, thus placing increased pressure onto the opposing party. We have also found that obtaining an injunction to stop the harassment can often place our client’s at a tactical advantage.
The Harassment Law Database
The Harassment Law Database is a specially designed legal database. The contents include abstracts of academic and news articles, case law, statute law, court transcripts and judgments, relevant excerpts from Hansard as well as reference to practitioner’s text books, details of specialist advocates and academic experts, copies of claim forms, particulars of claim and court orders/injunctions from previous harassment cases. The Harassment Law Database is constantly updated to reflect the latest changes in harassment law and practice. This is probably the first and only legal harassment database that exists. We have found that referring to the database often gives our clients an advantage in harassment cases. This is especially true for borderline cases, where there are serious questions about what actually constitutes harassment.
Use of the Harassment Act
The Harassment Act has been used in a variety of circumstances:
- Claims against cyber-stalkers / cyber-bullies and internet trolls
- Claims against photographers/paparazzi
- Claims against those making anonymous postings on the internet
- Claims against pressure groups
- Claims against newspapers for offensive articles
- Claims of receiving unjustified threats to cut off utility supplies
- Claims of receiving unjustified threats of legal proceedings
- Claims arising from the publication of defamatory allegations
- Claims against employers and co-workers
- Claims against schools and local authorities for pupil bullying
- Claims against by street gangs for ‘collective harassment’
- Claims against neighbours
- Claims against negligent builders who are pressing for payment
- Claims against obsessive stalkers
- Claims against debt collectors
- Claims against those attempting to gain possession of premises
Delivered fantastic results on a harassment problem
Alex Reid (Celebrity)