Libel Cases Spur Kirwans to Set Up 'Political' Unit

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Byline: BY BEN SCHOFIELD Daily Post Staff

A MERSEYSIDE law firm has set up a dedicated political unit after taking on a large number of libel cases involving politicians and activists.

Kirwans Solicitors, which has offices in Liverpool and Wirral, made the move after acting in six such cases in six months. They say more are in the pipeline.

The new team is headed by defamation expert Michael Sandys, who is also a partner and head of Kirwans' commercial team. He is supported by senior partner David Kirwans, Wirral's only independent councillor.

Among the cases Kirwans have recently taken on is Wirral West Tory parliamentary candidate Esther McVey's libel fight with sitting Labour MP Stephen Hesford.

The firm has also acted for Margaret Kalil, a former chairwoman of Wirral West Conservatives. Mrs Kalil successfully forced an apology and compensation from another senior Tory, Cllr David Elderton, after a series of unfounded email allegations.

Mr Sandys said: "We live in a society where we are constantly surrounded by news, gossip, speculation and innuendo through many different mediums.

"The days when we depended for our information solely on our newspapers, TV and radio have long since gone. Now we are just as likely to hear via websites, blogs, emails, mobile phone texts and social networking sites. …