Unit Head, Alan McAlister, Director has over 25 years experience advising clients on defamation issues. From 1989 to present Alan has acted for the News Letter, a leading Northern Ireland daily newspaper, on a wide range of matters including pre-publication advice, advising as to the merits or otherwise of complaints of defamation and/or malicious falsehood and conducting the defence of such claims up to and including trial. The News Letter is now part of the Johnston Press Group, and as a consequence we also advise a number of province-wide publications.

Our involvement includes the bringing of meanings summonses and other interlocutory matters when appropriate and has included conducting proceedings right up to the Northern Irish Court of Appeal. We also act for claimants advising on the merits of their claims and, as and when appropriate, on the institution of proceedings. A further consideration is the encouragement of mediation in resolving disputes of this nature.

Content divide

Areas of Expertise

  • Providing pre-publication advice
  • Advising as to the merits or otherwise of complaints of defamation and/or malicious falsehood
  • Conducting the defence of such claims up to and including trial
  • Bringing preliminary issue summonses, when appropriate on procedural issues
  • Advising on the defamatory nature of email correspondence and other alleged defamatory postings on social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter
  • Advising on the applicability of Norwich Pharmacol Orders.
  • Advising individuals and companies on the protection of their reputational rights and interests.

Why Us?

At Cleaver Fulton Rankin, we believe in providing client service to the highest standard. We do not, however, impose a standardised approach. We work with our clients to make sure we deliver exactly what our clients want by getting to know our clients’ needs and providing expert advice which is timely and commercially focused.

The defamation unit is part of our dispute resolution department which represents clients from a diverse range of industries which apart from the obvious publishing sector also includes the insurance, energy and construction sectors. We also act on behalf of a number of financial institutions.

Head of the Department, Alan McAlister has been ranked in the area of Defamation/Reputation Management by Chambers and Partners UK 2015.

Notable Clients

We continue to act on behalf of the Johnston Publishing Group which is the publisher of the Newsletter, a leading Northern Irish daily newspaper, the Derry Journal and various local weekly papers throughout Northern Ireland.