Legatum under attack – our response so far

Legatum is a supporter of press freedom and democratic values. And our approach to problems is to work hard at relational solutions.

So, it is with regret and reluctance that we ever turn to legal remedies to defend our reputation.

Nonetheless, our good name is critical to achieving our commercial and philanthropic objectives, so we are prepared to do what it takes to defend ourselves if relational remedies do not work out.

In recent months, we have been under a sustained, energetic and co-ordinated campaign to discredit and smear our name. Christopher Chandler, one of our founders, has been a particular target. A large body of false information about Legatum and Mr. Chandler has circulated.

We appreciate that in the current climate, it is difficult for news organisations and private publishers like bloggers and Tweeters to always differentiate between false news and substantiated content. Therefore, we are grateful to those people who have taken the time to correct and retract.

To help those who are writing about Legatum ensure that they are abreast of this story, here is a snapshot of the retractions and apologies to date.

24th July 2017

Retraction and apology published by Borderlex following its article in May 2017, erroneously associating Christopher Chandler with a Swiss group of companies which was ordered to be shut down in 2002 and was allegedly investigated for money laundering activities.

See the apology here.


4th February 2018

Retraction and apology published by Express Newspapers, making it clear that Christopher Chandler is not a Russian tycoon and that he did not help President Putin gain control of Gazprom. Resolution was by way of an Offer of Amends pursuant to the Defamation Act 1996, and damages were paid.

See the apology here.


17th February 2018

Left Foot Forward removed an article it had published on its website on 14th February which contained five serious inaccuracies about Christopher Chandler and the Legatum Institute.

Read more here.


28th February 2018

Apology published by the Guardian accepting that Mr. Chandler is not a Brexiter, and that the suggestion that he is a hypocrite with respect to Brexit was unjustified. Apology published by way of an Offer of Amends pursuant to the Defamation Act 1996. No damages were sought from this publication, and a contribution to our legal fees was secured.

See the apology here.


9th March 2018

Clarification published by the Financial Times following its article in January 2018, making it clear that the applications by Christopher Chandler and Mark Stoleson for Maltese citizenship were made in August and July 2015, respectively, and were not prompted by the result of the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

See the clarification here.


17th May 2018

On 17th May 2018, the website Another Europe is Possible joined in a Statement in Open Court, by which it retracted the falsehoods that it had published in a video about Christopher Chandler and Legatum in February 2018.

The statement was read in front of Mr. Justice Warby on behalf of Christopher Chandler, and can be viewed here.


It is worth adding, though, that we also have several IPSO complaints and a defamation lawsuit in play at the moment. Since we very much hope to resolve these amicably, it is not helpful to list these here.

We have also sent a Lord McAlpine-style letter to a Twitter user offering an opportunity to retract and apologise for their defamatory tweet.

And, lastly, it is worth adding that we intend to explore any legal remedies required to set the record straight and clear our name including those that uphold basic individual rights and laws of natural justice.

Conclusion

In the eye of the storm, we have peace in all circumstances. But what is at stake here is something more important than Christopher Chandler’s and Legatum’s reputations - it is truth itself that is in the balance.

Through our philanthropy, we help millions of people. We will clear our name and, when we do, we will continue creating and supporting some of the most innovative and impactful philanthropic and humanitarian efforts in the world, as we have done for over a decade.

And we will continue supporting the great work of The Legatum Institute Foundation, and the remarkable team there executing on their mission “to create pathways from poverty to prosperity.”

Note

Anyone who wishes to check facts about the Legatum Group or Christopher Chandler can call Mark Lunn on +44 (0) 20 3397 0100 or +44 (0) 7775 992 309.

Anyone wishing to check facts about the Legatum Institute can call Alistair Masser on +44 (0) 7810 570 505.