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I was made redundant a couple of years ago, the owner of the company had closed down quote a few companies before, he wasn't paying our pensions and the company went into liquidation soon after my redundancy which meant I never got my redundancy pay from them.

I took him to tribunal and won but of course will never get anything cos the company no longer exists.

 

The owner of the company I worked for was proper dodgy and one of the reasons the company went under was that he was fraudulently uploading invoices to the factoring company for one of his biggest clients, they knew something dodgy was going on and removed all their stock, refusing to pay any more of his invoices.

This was going on whilst I was still there and a court case ensued after I had left.

I stayed in touch with the woman at the clients company.

During the case, she has given me a copy of the court papers submitted by my ex boss where he states my name and says that it was my fault that these invoices were wrong and that I was subsequently dismissed because of my errors. This is an absolute lie.

Once I saw that I requested all of my personnel records of which I now have and it clearly states that my redundancy was in no way in reflect of my performance.

My question is, can I take my ex boss to court for defamation of character? 

It is beyond belief that he is allowed to keep running companies into the ground, making people redundant and not paying them, stealing their pension contributions and getting away with it Scott free time and time again.

I don't want to sit and do nothing when I feel he is due some punishment for his wrong doings 

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Defamation is very tricky and potentially very expensive. It wouldn't be on the small claims track. It would be on the multitrack which means that if you lose you can get a very serious bloody nose in terms of the other side's costs. If you win, then you will only managed to get damages if you can enforce them and you will only be able to get your costs if you can enforce those which means that if you are unable to, you will end up having to pay everything.

It seems that you're not even able to enforce a tribunal award. I'll leave you to draw the appropriate inferences as to the likelihood of your managing to enforce anything else.

Defamation must be untrue and must cause serious reputational damage. The defamatory remarks must be published and if they are simply contained in private papers then they are probably insufficiently published to amount to defamation. If they are contained in court documents which are public documents then they are unlikely also to be defamatory if they have been published in court.

Find some other way of getting even – but defamation is certainly not the way unless you really want to get involved in something risky, stressful, frustrating – and eventually probably unsuccessful


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2 different issues : the false statement about you, and the poor management of his businesses.

 

For the latter, were the businesses insolvent? Little you can do on a personal level if they were, but you might get the Insolvency Service interested, and they might bar them from being a director.

 

for the false statement, since the Defamation Act 2013 the statement must not only be false but also cause (or be likely to cause) your reputation serious harm to be defamatory / actionable.

I agree with BF actions for defamation need ‘long pockets’, and run the risk of significant costs.

 

I disagree that a false statement in court papers can’t be defamatory. It isn’t Parliament where Parliamentary privilege applies. The person making the false statement might try to say “I didn’t publish it, the court did!”, but that won’t fly: in making the statement as part of a witness statement, they are publishing it. 

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I did think it would be a long shot.

Thank you for your advice 

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Yes, you can sue the ex-boss but it will cost you a small fortune to do so and he is unlikely to have any assets that you can go after- everything will be in his cat's name.

Pyrrhic victory is the term.

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