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According to the following article the NGRS have stated that if the original Mirror article isn't "immediately and permanently deleted” then they will have "no choice but to commence an action for substantial damages".

Well far from deleting the article the Mirror have now added another link to it. Maybe instead of threating yet more legal action the NGRS should have threatened to send round Mr Geoff 'I'll own your f#@king house' Salt to 'have a word' with Mr Penman... would probably have been more effective!

The following article was written by Andrew Penman, from The Mirror and was published on 15th July 2015


Guild tried to take Mirrorman to court... To prove they don't take people to court

Former member said: '“They took 14 defendants to court to establish among other things, that they don’t take people to court"

The letter from the law firm began with the assurance that it had “no intention of limiting or curtailing” my freedom of speech.

Which is nice.

Then it demanded that the online version of an article I’d written “is immediately and permanently deleted”.

It also wanted a promise not to repeat it, plus an apology and agreement to pay damages and its legal bill.

If the Mirror didn’t agree: “Our client will have no choice but to commence an action for substantial damages.”

My article of last November told how the Guild “has made a habit of suing removal firms for astonishing sums”.

It also showed shocking footage of the Guild’s Geoffrey Salt swearing at the boss of a family removal firm outside court and telling him: “You know what, I’m going to own your house”.

Read Andrew Penman's original article here

A bunch of firms had left the Guild, feeling that it didn’t provide value for money, only to be accused of a range of alleged offences such as using the Guild’s logo when no longer members.

One former member is Patrick McCrory of McCrory’s Removals in Nottingham.

He was told that he owed £3,800 for failing to cancel his membership after a trial period. This escalated to £20,475 for alleged breach of contract and defamation and Mr McCrory was told that the final legal bill could be £65,000.

Faced with these demands, several removal firms held a meeting to offer mutual support.

The Guild heard about it and launched an astonishing legal action.

“Its application at the High Court in London demanded disclosure of who was at a meeting, what was discussed, and who had agreed or authorised an email or a press release be circulated,” Mr McCrory said.

“I cannot speak for the other removal company defendants but I, for one, was incandescent with rage at the cheek of these upstarts, demanding to have the courts reveal our private business, in order to assist them with their unwarranted and imaginary monetary claims.”

The move backfired. The court threw out the Guild’s demand and ordered it to pay £3,850 costs to the defendants.

The judge, Master Yoxall, called the Guild’s action “manifestly defective”.

Mr McCrory’s verdict was: “They took 14 defendants to court to establish among other things, that they don’t take people to court. If the aim was to silence us, then it looks very much as if that effort was costly and counter-productive.”

The separate action against him by the Guild was dismissed by a district judge who called it “wholly unmeritorious”.

Two other defendants were Alex and Sally Luckes, who run a Swindon removals firm. “We are strong people but this has nearly broken us,” said Sally. “We had to fight this or lose everything we’ve built up.

“We still face a separate claim by the Guild and our legal fees are about £20,000. How could we have got in this position just by joining a trade ­association?”

The Guild, through its lawyers, said it was “doing nothing more than seeking to enforce its contractual rights and protect its intellectual property.”

The Guild’s action against the Mirror went to the newspaper regulator the Independent Press Standards ­Organisation, which rejected every one of its complaints about alleged ­inaccuracies in my piece, which you can still find online.


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