Have you recently suffered financially or mentally from a conveyancing solicitors breach of data protection? If so, this guide could help you if you have been subject to a personal data breach which was the fault of a conveyancing firm. The data breach could have been due to human error or a cyber attack against a law firm.
Within this guide, we will explore how a data breach could happen and whether you are eligible to make a claim. Furthermore, we will share some case studies and potential figures you could receive in compensation for a data breach.
You can speak with our advisors if you have any questions or are seeking free legal advice about a data breach. We are here to help you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. After speaking with us, there is also no obligation to continue with a claim.
Select A Section
- What Is Conveyancing Solicitors Breach Of Data Protection?
- How Could Conveyancing Solicitors Breach Data Protection?
- Types Of Data Solicitors May Handle
- Conveyancing Solicitors Security Incidents – Case Studies
- What Could You Claim For Conveyancing Solicitors Breach Of Data Protection?
- No Win No Fee Claims Against A Conveyancing Firm
A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the integrity, confidentiality and availability of someone’s personal data. Personal data can include your name, mobile number and home address.
Conveyancing solicitors are considered data controllers, meaning they decide how your personal data is processed. As data controllers, they are obligated to follow the rules and obligations of processing the personal data of people residing in the UK, as set out in the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA.)
Following a conveyancing solicitors breach of data protection, you may wonder whether you could claim compensation. If a data controller breaches data protection, this may mean they have failed to comply with these data protection laws. However, this would not be enough to make a personal data breach claim.
In order to make a successful claim, you must prove that your personal data was breached due to the data controller’s failings, such as oversight or not updating cybersecurity measures. Additionally, you must prove that you suffered either financially or mentally to make a successful claim. Damage to your mental health can be anything from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Speak with our advisors if you have any questions about a personal data breach.
If conveyancing solicitors breach data protection, it allows channels to open up that put your data at risk. Some examples of how your personal data could be breached are:
- Cyber attacks – This could be due to an organisation not updating its cyber security measures.
- Misdelivery – Someone accidentally sends your personal data to the wrong person. For example, someone could send it to the wrong postal address or the wrong email address.
- Poor administration – For example, a receptionist leaves a file containing your personal information open on a desk. Anyone could read your personal data, which someone could have prevented if the file had been locked away or secured.
- Verbal Disclosure – Someone verbally discloses your personal data without a lawful basis to an unauthorised party.
Contact our advisors for more information on how personal data breaches could happen, and whether you are eligible to make a claim.
Statistics On Data Security Incident Trends In The Legal Sector
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has provided statistics on data security incidents trends. The ICO are an independent public body that helps to protect data security. The provided data security incidents have been reported to them.
These statistics revealed that in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021/22, there were 108 reported non-cyber incidents within the legal sector. Additionally, there were 33 reported cyber incidents within the legal sector, resulting in 141 reportable incidences in total.
Solicitors may hold different kinds of personal information about you. For example, they may hold personal data revealing your:
- Personal Email.
- Phone number.
- Bank account details.
In certain circumstances, solicitors may even hold data that is classified as ‘special category data’. Special category data is a type of personal data that needs extra protection as it is sensitive. This includes:
- Ethnic or racial origin.
- Political Information.
- Genetic or biometric data.
- Religious information.
If your personal data was breached due to a conveyancing solicitor’s data protection breach, you could be harmed mentally and financially. Speak with our advisors if you believe you may have been subject to a personal data breach.
In November 2021, it was reported that Leicestershire-based property lawyers experienced a security incident that left many of its systems inaccessible and unusable, causing property purchases to be put on hold.
If your conveyancing solicitors breach data protection as they failed to comply with data protection laws and this caused you harm, you may be thinking of making a personal data breach claim. But what can be included in successful data breach claims? You could claim for two forms of damages, material and non-material.
Material damages seek to provide compensation for the financial losses you’ve endured because of the data breach. In order to make a successful claim for material damages, you must have evidence that the financial loss occurred because of the data breach. Some examples of finances you could claim back are:
- Money was taken from your bank account.
- Money spent on your credit card or debit card.
- Someone took out loans in your name.
Non-Material damage seeks to provide you compensation for the psychological injuries you have endured due to your personal data being breached. This can be:
To make a successful claim for non-material damages, having a medical record proving you suffered emotional distress will help you.
Following the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), we have inserted a table of compensation examples for mental distress below. When assigning value to your mental suffering, legal professionals will use the JCG as this document lists injuries alongside potential compensation brackets. These figures should only be used as a guideline.
|Psychiatric Damage Generally (Psych.)
|SEVERE – The injured person will have problems with various factors of life.
|£54,830 – £115,730
|MODERATELY SEVERE – The injured person will experience problems with various life factors, but there is a more hopeful prognosis.
|£19,070 – £54,830
|MODERATE – The person will have experienced problems, but there have been improvements.
|£5,860 – £19,070
|LESS SEVERE – Specific factors will be considered when determining the awardable amount.
|£1,540 – £5,860
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Stress Disorder.)
|SEVERE – There will be permanent effects preventing the person from living the same as they used to.
|£59,860 – £100,670
|MODERATELY SEVERE – Potential for some recovery with help from a medical professional.
|£23,150 – £59,860
|MODERATE – The person will have mostly recovered.
|£8,180 – £23,150
|LESS SEVERE – An (almost) complete recovery will have happened in one to two years. Only slight symptoms remain.
|£3,950 – £8,180
Before the Vidal Hall & Others v Google Inc (2015) case, you would have to prove that you suffered from financial loss if you wanted to claim for non-material damage. However, after this court case, the Court of Appeal decided that anyone affected by a data breach could now make a claim for mental harm without also having to claim for material damage.
Call our team today for more information on whether you may be eligible to make a claim following a personal data breach.
A type of No Win No Fee agreement, called a Conditional Fee Agreement, might be an option for you if you want to pursue a claim with legal representation. Our panel of solicitors could help you with this type of arrangement, with benefits such as:
- No fees to pay upfront
- If your case is successful, you only have to pay a success fee out of your compensation for your solicitor’s services.
- No success fee is needed for claims that are unsuccessful
You can also speak with our advisors if you have any questions. We are here to help you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Check Our Related Guides
For additional articles:
For additional information:
National Cyber Security Centre: Data breaches – guidance for individuals and families.
Please speak with our advisors with any ‘conveyancing solicitors breach of data protection’ questions.