News: Statement in Open Court, Businessmen win libel damages and apology from former employer

29 06 2017

Richard Meechan and Jamie MacSween have succeeded in their libel action against FuelDefend Global Ltd and its chairman, Russell Fowler. At the High Court on 28 June 2017 they received a public apology from the defendants.

Mr Meechan and Mr MacSween formerly worked for FuelDefend Global. After they left, the defendants sent an email to a large number of the company’s suppliers, customers and contacts alleging that Richard Meechan and Jamie MacSween were guilty of fraud and were the subject of an ongoing police investigation. This accusation was defamatory and untrue and had a severe impact on the ability of Richard Meechan and Jamie MacSween to develop their own business.

Pre-action correspondence was met with a dismissive response so High Court proceedings for libel were issued and served. This led to Russell Fowler and FuelDefend Global admitting liability. Following settlement negotiations Mr Fowler and FuelDefend agreed to pay Mr Meechan and Mr MacSween substantial damages and to participate in a joint Statement in Open Court apologising for making their allegations.

The Statement was read in the High Court today (copy attached). Mr Meechan and Mr MacSween, commenting on the outcome, said:  

“It is a huge relief for our reputations to be vindicated in respect of the serious and damaging allegations which had been published about us. We can now move forward both personally and in our business lives without this cloud hanging over us.”

Mr MacSween is a director of Drivenlower, a company which develops smart solutions for risk management, fraud prevention and ID verification in vehicles.

Jeremy Clarke-Williams, head of the Reputation Management team at Penningtons Manches, acted for Mr Meechan and Mr MacSween.

The Statement in Open Court can be found here.


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