This guide will explain how to make a solicitors data protection breach claim. If you have used the services of a solicitor, they will have collected your personal information. Your personal information can include names and contact details. Or the solicitor can collect sensitive private information about your case. What happens if a solicitors breach of data protection takes place? In this guide we answer this question along with which criteria must be met to make a successful solicitors data protection breach claim.
If you have become a victim of a solicitors data protection breach, you may have experienced emotional distress. A serious breach of data protection may have caused you to develop psychiatric injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder. And, personal data breaches can also affect your finances.
If an organisation has breached your data, please call Public Interest Lawyers today. Our panel of data protection breach solicitors could offer to handle your claim as a No Win No Fee case. Therefore you will only pay a success fee if we win your claim. Call us today on 0800 408 7825 to begin work on your claim. Or contact us via our website.
Select A Section
- When Can I Claim For A Solicitors Data Protection Breach?
- How Should Solicitors Protect Your Data?
- How A Solicitors Data Protection Breach Could Happen
- Calculating Solicitors Data Protection Breach Settlements
- Talk To Our Team If A Solicitor Has Let You Down
A solicitors data protection breach is a security incident at a solicitors firm, which could compromise your personal data. A personal data breach could mean your personal information has been leaked or exposed. A data breach can also happen if the data is lost or stolen, altered or encrypted.
Data breaches can happen because of human error. For example, an employee may lose a device containing personal data. However, sometimes a data protection breach could happen because a law firm is the target of a cyber attack.
What is the relationship between the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018?
Back in 2018 the EU created a directive known as the The General Data Protection Regulation GDPR which is a piece of EU data protection legislation. The Data Protection Act 2018 enacts the GDPR into our laws in the UK.
However the UK is no longer part of the European Union and since the withdrawal the UK has created their own General Data Protection Regulation known as the UK GDPR. This now runs alongside the updated version of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Not all data breaches will mean a compensation claim is possible. Therefore we have looked at potential scenarios below that may mean you may be able to make a solicitors data breach claim:
- A solicitors firm has not updated their cyber security and has no firewalls in place. Therefore cybercriminals found it easy to breach the system and obtain personal information of the law firm’s clients.
- An employee at the solicitors spoke about your case to someone who has no authority to receive this information.
How serious is a breach of data protection? To be eligible to make a successful solicitors data protection breach claim the onus will be on you to prove that the law firm did not protect your personal information correctly.
You will have also needed to have suffered some kind of harm. Whether that be emotional distress or financial losses. It can actually be a combination of both.
What are claims for breach of the UK GDPR? All organisations that decide why and how to collect personal data are known as data controllers. The owners of this personal data are known as data subjects, If data controller breaches UK GDPR they put data subjects’ personal information at risk.
The solicitor must follow the principles of the UK GDPR. Solicitors are considered to be data controllers and are responsible for the following:
- The solicitor is responsible for collecting the data lawfully and complying with the UK GDPR.
- If the solicitor has to send data abroad, they must follow the correct processes.
- The solicitor must protect the personal data of the data subject when their data is processed.
- And solicitors must cooperate with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) where necessary.
Now, let’s look at how a solicitors data protection breach could potentially happen. During 2015/6, solicitors and barristers data security incidents accounted for 4% of incidents reported to the ICO. The following incidents were the top cause of data security incidents in the legal profession for the same period:
- Loss or theft of paperwork
- The firm posts or faxes personal data to the wrong recipient
- A device loss or theft incident
- An employee sends data to the wrong email address.
- Or an employee disposes of paperwork in an insecure manner
- Insecure website
- A law firm uploads private information to their website
- A solicitor fails to redact personal data
Reporting A Solicitors Data Protection Breach
What should you do if you believe that a solicitors firm has breached your data? Let’s look at how to report a personal data breach. If you believe a law firm has breached your personal data get in touch with the company’s data protection officer.
The company will be able to investigate the data breach and should be able to resolve the matter internally. If you are not happy with the outcome of the investigation, you can report the data breach to the ICO. However, please raise your concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office within three months of your last communication with the law firm.
What should a solicitors firm do if they discover that they have breached your data? The firm is required to notify the ICO within 72 hours if a data subjects rights are affected. They should inform you without undue delay.
Your solicitors will use the notification as evidence to support your compensation claim. If you believe you are owed solicitors data breach compensation, please contact Public Interest Lawyers today. Our panel of data protection breach solicitors could offer you No Win No Fee terms.
You may be wondering how much compensation you can claim for a personal data protection breach.
First of all, let’s look at how you could calculate data breach compensation payouts. The first head of claim you could receive is material damages. Material damages compensate you for the monetary losses you have experienced because of the data breach. For example, if criminals use your personal information to defraud you, you may be able to claim back these financial losses.
The second head of claim you can claim is non-material damages. When we think about how serious a breach of data protection is, we must consider the emotional and psychiatric harm they can cause. A personal data breach may reveal highly sensitive personal information to the public. Therefore, many victims of a data breach experience emotional distress. What’s more, some people even develop psychological injuries after a data breach. Subsequently, non-material damages compensate you for this harm.
You can use the table below to estimate how much non-material damages compensation you can receive. Please note the table does not include material damages. We have used guidelines from the Judicial College in the compensation table.
|Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
|£3,710 to £7,680
|A full recovery will be made between 1 and 2 years after the incident. There may be some minor symptoms remaining.
|£7,680 to £21,730
|A good degree of recovery will already have been made and there will not be any grossly disabling effects.
|£21,730 to £56,180
|Whilst this person may still have some serious issues, the general prognosis is more optimistic.
|£56,180 to £94,470
|There will have been a permanent negative effect on all parts of this persons life.
|£1,440 to £5,500
|Damages awarded depend on the length of the effects on the claimant and the degree of impact these had.
|£5,500 to £17,900
|There should have been a marked improvement by the time a case comes to trial. There is also a good prognosis for further recovery.
|£17,900 to £51,460
|Whilst there could have been positive progress, claimants could also experience difficulty in many parts of their life such as relationships and daily activities.
|£51,460 to £108,620
|The injury will have affected all parts of this persons life such as their ability to return to education or work as well as to maintain their relationships. There is a poor prognosis for recovery.
However, the amount of compensation you receive may be lower or higher. So please feel free to call us for a data breach compensation quote.
Has a solicitors data protection breach affected you? Then we can help. Our panel of data protection solicitors can value your claim accurately to ensure you receive the correct amount of compensation. What’s more, they can handle your claim as a No Win No Fee case.
To begin your compensation claim, please get in touch with us today:
- Call us on 0800 408 7825. Or you can use our online contact form.
- Alternatively, ask us a question using the chat widget on the bottom right-hand side of your screen.
Further Helpful Tools, Resources And Guides
Thank you for reading this solicitors data breach claims guide. To learn more about personal data breaches, please look at these resources.
Information about mental health from the NHS.
A government guide to the rights of data subjects.
How to report HMRC scams, including phishing scams.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this guide.