UK Blog Threatened with Libel Action from British Muslim Initiative President

Things are hotting up in the spat between Mohammed Sawalha, President of the British Muslim Initiative, and UK liberal hawk blog Harry’s Place:

Last Friday, in the wake of a closely argued debate about whether Mohammed Sawalha, the President of the British Muslim Initiative, had used the phrase “Evil Jew” or “Jewish Lobby” in a speech, Harry’s Place received a letter. The letter is from Dean and Dean, a firm of solicitors who are acting for Mr Sawalha… We have responded to Mr Sawalha’s solicitors, through Mishcon de Reya, who are acting for us.

The dispute over the translation received wide attention; I blogged it here.

Dean and Dean have had a number of prominent clients; according to an old report in the Times,

clients have included the Saudi royal family, the King of Morocco, David Khalili, the wealthy Iranian art dealer, Nadhmi Auchi, the Iraqi-born billionaire, and the Hinduja brothers.

Mishcon de Reya, meanwhile, recently handled the McCartney-Mills divorce, and the firm previously acted for Princess Diana. Its partners include Anthony Julius, who represented Deborah Lipstadt when the Holocaust denier David Irving attempted to sue her for libel.

Unless Sawalha backs down, costs are likely to be eye-watering…

(PS – as an aside, Nadhmi Auchi is also worth keeping an eye on, for reasons unconnected with the above: as well as using Dean and Dean, he also retains the services of Carter-Ruck, with the inevitable result that a number of stories and profiles have recently disappeared from the websites of various newspapers.)

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