Chambers Solicitors’ drafting reaches a wider audience
The letter before action sent by George Galloway’s law firm to tweeters accused of defaming him has been published by @SuedByGalloway, the Twitter account which is coordinating a fightback against the MP’s legal threats.
In the letter — which is embedded in full below — Bradford high street firm Chambers Solicitors begins by outlining the law surrounding libel before detailing Galloway’s unhappiness with the tweets, which alleged that he was anti-Semitic.
Chambers Solicitors — which was raided last summer in connection with investigations into alleged fraud — proceeds to issue a demand for £5,000 plus VAT to be paid into a bank account by 5pm next Tuesday, alongside an apology.
The defamation letter in full issued by George Galloway’s law firm
Yesterday phone hacking lawyer Mark Lewis — who is acting for some of those being sued by Galloway — told Legal Cheek that Chambers Solicitors’ tactics “brings the solicitor’s profession into disrepute”, commenting:
“A lawyer’s duty is to stand up for people who cannot otherwise defend themselves from very threatening demands. Mr Galloway’s solicitors claimed £5,000 plus VAT for standard letters on top of damages. That is horrific and brings the solicitor’s profession into disrepute. Mr Galloway’s spokesman says that the letters weren’t shown to the client before they were sent. That is a matter of practise and the SRA must investigate.”
When contacted by Legal Cheek yesterday, Chambers Solicitors declined to provide formal comment. But a spokesman for Galloway earlier this week told the Guardian that the money “is all legal expenses”, adding:
“George Galloway won’t receive a penny of the money that goes to Chambers [Solicitors]. It’s down to Chambers [as to] whatever they charge.”
Around 12 letters are believed to have been sent, with some who have received demands having reportedly done no more than retweet a comment from other Twitter users.
The saga dates back to Galloway’s appearance on BBC Question Time last month. During the show debate about anti-Semitism spilled over onto Twitter where allegations were made against the Bradford West MP.
Police raided George Galloway’s law firm last summer [Legal Cheek]
George Galloway’s high street firm faces rough ride as media law big guns back twitterati in libel row [Legal Cheek]