BrewDog Bites Back at The Portman Group
BrewDog hires prestigious London law firm Pitmas to sue Portman Goup Chief Executive for Defamation over comments about company
Here is the Letter that has been sent:
ATTN: Mr D Poley
The Portman Group
James Watt,Martin Dickie and Brewdog limited
We have been instructed by BrewDog Limited, James Watt, the company's Managing Director and Martin Dickie, Head brewer. BrewDog Limited runs a small brewery in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire producing premium priced specialist beers for connoisseurs.
This letter is written in accordance with the Pre-Action protocol on Defamation of the Civil Procedure Rules. We refer to words attributed to David Poley, your Chief Executive, in a press release published on your website at www.portman-group.org.uk and also we assume to the media. Mr Poley is quoted as saying "Brewdog is profiteering from the scourge of illegal drugs, mocking the misery caused by misuse." Our clients complain of these words. As was reasonably foreseeable, these words have been repeated in media reports, including for example, in the Financial Times on 21 January 2009 (copy enclosed).
The allegations that our profit from illegal drugs and mock the misery caused by the misuse (or use) of illegal drugs are untrue and factually inaccurate. Our clients sell legal beers and take the misery of illegal drug use seriously. If,which is not accepted, these words are claimed to be merely an expression of opinion which can be supported by facts, the this is disputed by our clients. Mr Poley appears to seek to justify his statement on the basis that " the blurring of alcohol and illicit drugs fosters unhealthy attitudes to drinking and triviakises drug misuses." This is not a justification for, or legal defence to, these serious allegations against our clients which have and will continue to cause them distress, hurt feelings and damage their personal and business reputations.
Our Clients require your written confirmation as soon as possible and in any event, within the next 14 days, that you agree to take the following steps in order to remedy your unlawful actions:
•1. Provide our client witha letter signed by Mr Poley on behalf of the Portman Group apologising for and retracting the words complained of;
•2. Remove the words complained of from the press release on your website:
•3. Undertake not to repeat the words complained of either by Mr Poley or any other officer, employee or agent of Portmans Group in future;
•4. Pay a reasonable proportion of our clients legal costs of this matter;
•5. Make a donation to an alcohol abuse charity of our clients choice of £500 as a mark of sincerity of the apolopy.
If we do not receive a satisfactory response to this letter within this time period we anticipate advising our clients to commence legal proceedings for defamation.