Libel is an unpredictable area. And that's certainly the case with the new Defamation Act 2013.
Many people believed that the act, which came into force on 1 January, 2014, would lead to a drop in the number of libel cases.
After all, it made it harder for claimants to start an action: they now have to prove that a statement caused them "serious harm", a stricter test than before.
But Ministry of Justice figures for 2014 reveal that the number of cases dealt with in London 2014 went up from 142 to 227, a jump of 60 per cent. The figures have left a lot of experts scratching their heads.
Personally, I'm not altogether surprised by the rise, which is the biggest since 2009.
I said in my Defamation Act 2013 eBook, published when the new law came into force: "The new test of 'serious harm' will probably have limited effect. Most people who started libel actions in the past did so because the believed a statement caused them serious harm. They wouldn't have bothered otherwise.
'It is difficult to find a libel case dealt with under the old libel laws that would have failed if the new law had been in force.'
I still take the same view.
I believe the other reasons for the rise are an increasing number of claims arising from social media and websites, and a greater awareness among the public that they can take action over defamatory allegations online.
It's a no-brainer. The number of publishing platforms grows every day. So does the number of articles, posts and tweets. We're not just dealing with a few hundred newspapers and magazine publishers any more, but tens of thousands of websites and social media feeds.
The more publishers, the more libel actions … even if the threshold for bring an action has been raised to 'serious'.
I'm certain that the number of defamation cases will continue to rise.