Recently I was handed a employment agency file containing defamatory comments and records of statements made by a company manager from a past employer that I wasn't aware of, made in reply to a request for reference for another job. The contents of the files were particularly defamatory, untrue and not in keeping with the performance reviews - can I sue for defamation ? Is the person who made the comments responsible for the original comments (slander) and then the republication in writing (libel)? Is the company also responsible for the managers slanderous comments, which were recorded in print, and republished several times? Given that the records have been accessed several times, constituting re-publication, is each publication a new claim?