The settlement has been concluded of the complaint brought by Professor Robert Service and Dr Rachel Polonsky against Professor Orlando Figes of Birkbeck College, London over reviews of their works posted on the Amazon website. This remarkable story was given widespread coverage in the national press earlier in 2010 (see links below).
Professor Service and Dr Polonsky brought their complaint after Professor Figes circulated an email to colleagues denying that he was behind anonymous, scathing reviews of their books on Amazon and criticising them for suggesting he was involved. Professor Figes’s wife then stated that it was her that had written the reviews. However, a week later Professor Figes admitted that it was not his wife, but he, that was to blame.
As part of the settlement Professor Figes has circulated a full apology to colleagues in which, among other things, he accepts that his denial of responsibility was false and withdraws any adverse imputations that his email had conveyed against Professor Service and Dr Polonsky. Professor Figes has also agreed to pay damages as well as the legal costs of the complaint.
Professor Service and Dr Polonsky were represented by Nigel Tait and Kate Pantling