‘Top’ libel lawyer ridiculed all over Twitter after threatening tweets

Presumably Mark Lewis thought it was a good idea to approach people like me with messages on Twitter threatening us with court action.

He was wrong. But I bet he makes the same mistake again.

On the evening of February 20, I got home from a hospital trip with Mrs Mike and her mum to be greeted with the following messages:

That last comment was a good idea because I had no intention of responding at all.

What kind of lawyer contacts his intended victims on Twitter?

The wrong kind, apparently. I took a bit of legal advice, which may be summed up in this short Twitter (again) thread by Shaun Lawson:

So there were no grounds for legal action in the original behaviour of the people being contacted (I had written my own article, followed with a piece about the kind of people who support Ms Riley and Ms Oberman – based on their own tweets, so it’s still not actionable) – and Mr Lewis was apparently trying to trap us and provoke us into something actionable.

No thanks!

I noticed activity on my Twitter feed had picked up and checked it out. Some of it was from the usual stormtroopers* of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt, but it very quickly became clear that these were being ignored.

Instead, other Twitter users were responding to the threat against me by reporting Mr Lewis to both Twitter itself and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which had already fined him £2,500 for a previous transgression:

https://twitter.com/j43kfr05t/status/1098319656027328517

Some pointed out that Mr Lewis was apparently trying to bully minors:

https://twitter.com/LabLeftVoice/status/1098344677563133953

After a while, the ridicule took on a festive tone. People were really enjoying taking down this alleged expert:

https://twitter.com/JOShUAkANE013/status/1098347604059045888

https://twitter.com/rdudley55/status/1098647231505276931

Perhaps the most embarrassing part of this is that some in the mainstream media have taken all this seriously.

The Guardian reported: “The Countdown presenter Rachel Riley and former EastEnders actor Tracy Ann Oberman are preparing legal action against up to 70 individuals for tweets relating to their campaign against antisemitism in the Labour party, according to the pair’s lawyer.

“Mark Lewis, who made his name representing phone-hacking victims, said he is contacting people who have either posted allegedly libellous claims about his clients or repeatedly sent them large numbers of messages, which he says is tantamount to harassment.”

Wrong way round. If I recall correctly, they were doing the harassing.

“At the end of last year he and his partner moved to Israel, citing the level of antisemitism in Europe.”

https://twitter.com/saeed6ali/status/1098562045820186624

Perhaps this is a serious attempt at using the law to bully perfectly decent people, but it is clear that the people behind it cannot be taken seriously.

I’ll take it seriously when I see a reason to do so. Right now, I don’t.

*If anyone wants to claim anti-Semitism because mention of “stormtroopers” calls the Nazi variety to mind, be assured that no such comparison is possible. Nazi stormtroopers were successful in the horrible things they did – at least, during the first few years they were around.


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16 thoughts on “‘Top’ libel lawyer ridiculed all over Twitter after threatening tweets

  1. eli

    You’ve got to love the idiots who think muslims in Gaza are Palestinians, as is such a race exists, and that they are all innocent when they are the ones using children and women as human shields, putting bombs and weapons in schools, hospitals, homes.. (hint, Israel does not do this.) muslims in gaza are the war mongers, and fail every time a peace treaty is signed with Israel, to keep it, bombing women and children. hamas leaders are terrorists, nothing more. Yet, Israel gives them free electricity, water, medical care…..…….

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Really?

      That’s a hell of a racist spiel. Suppose somebody had written something like that about “The Jews” – what sort of response do you think it would have had? You haven’t backed up any of your claims with facts – and one is wildly inaccurate: Israel often cuts off power, water and healthcare as a kind of torture for its Palestinian hostages.

  2. James F

    All power to your elbow, Mike – and to all the other recipients of threats from this sleazebag solicitor!

  3. bygc61

    This person was defending Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle dumber from me on Tweeter last week and said “now I have what I needed” and left the thread so I guess I am on his list thanks for the info Shaun

  4. SteveH

    Mike – You need to listen to the Tracy Ann Oberman interview on this morning’s BBC Radio4 Today Program at about 08:50am.

  5. Tony Dean

    I was threatened with legal action by a DWP contractor’s head of their legal department. When I detailed what evidence would be given on my behalf in court, I never heard any more from them.

  6. Pete Croll

    Hi Mike, here’s a quote from Gilad Atzmon’s website. Looks like the same Mark Lewis:
    Dear friends, In March [2018] I was sued for libel by the chairman of the Campaign Against Anti Semitism (CAA), Gideon Falter, for suggesting that ‘Antisemitism is a business plan.’ As CAA has explained its objective, the lawsuit was intended both to silence me and to wreck my career. Campaign Against Anti Semitism’s web site states that renowned media lawyer Mark Lewis “devised a strategy for bringing libel actions which he and Campaign Against Antisemitism have begun to use to force antisemites into either apologising in court, or paying substantial damages.” And as CAA boasts in its promotional video, “We ensure antisemites face criminal, professional and reputational consequences.”

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Atzmon is universally accepted as being a genuine anti-Semite, so it is entirely possible that CAA and Mr Lewis were justified in his case. I won’t be visiting his site to read his side of that story.

      But CAA’s strategy is as stated. We’ve all known that for several years. The only word I would change is “antisemites” – to “critics of Israel”.

  7. p

    Mike, here’s a PS to my previous message. I tried to listen to the Riley/Obermann piece on the Today iPlayer, but but the item it isn’t there at 8:50. Interestingly, at the very beginning of the recorded programme, there is an announcement that the recording has been edited, but the announcer doesn’t say what the edit is. Isn’t editing a bit unusual?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It tends to indicate that something legally dodgy was included in the live broadcast and it has been removed to prevent the BBC facing possible court action. I wonder what was said?

      1. SteveH

        Would it be worthwhile asking the BBC for a statement on why they removed the Oberman interview. If nothing else it would give you confirmation that they had removed the this interview it would be quite difficult for them deny that they had removed the interview if they were asked this specifically by a journalist.

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