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Property firm pursues libel claim

Property firm pursues libel claim

Property investment firm Harlequin has filed a defamation claim at London High Court against its former accountants.

Harlequin alleges Wilkins Kennedy (WK), and specifically two of its staff who are chartered accountants - set up a website that said Harlequin's was involved in a ponzi scheme (a fraudulent investment operation).

According to FTAdviser, Harlequin is claiming damages for libel, breach of confidence, aggravated damages and an injunction to restrain the three named defendants from further publication of defamatory allegations.

WK has denied the claims, with a spokesperson telling FTAdviser: "The alleged libel ... arises from the posting of information about Harlequin on a website by an ex-employee of WK, who is also vigorously defending the action."

One of Harlequin's most serious allegations against WK is that it released secret documents online - something that allowed competitors to see its inner workings.

The case is expected to continue for a prolonged period of time, and may be settled outside of court before a verdict is reached.

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Posted by Francesca Witney