How To Claim For A Data Breach By A Solicitor

Legal firms, as with any organisation (data controllers) that stores or processes your personal data, have to protect it from unlawful use or accidental and deliberate exposure. A personal data breach by a solicitor could lead to you suffering financial loss or mental harm.

This guide will explain how the UK General Data Protection Regulation along with the Data Protection Act 2018 aim to protect the personal information that is processed about you, the data subject.

Moreover it will show how to make a personal data breach claim due to an organisation breaching your data by not complying with these laws.

How to claim for a data breach by a solicitor guide

How to claim for a data breach by a solicitor guide

We cannot cover every possible claim scenario in one guide. This means that you may have additional questions this guide has not answered. If you do, our team of expert advisors can give you all the answers you need. Please call and speak with one of them on 020 3870 4868. or if you prefer, request a callback by using our contact form.

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What Is A Data Breach By A Solicitor?

We have a number of bodies of legislation that are applied to data privacy, security and protection in the UK. Primarily, the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

It is the remit of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to oversee compliance with these regulations. The ICO can also levy sanctions and fines against any organisation that is found in breach of the law.

As you will see later in this guide, these laws protect specific types of data.

If a solicitor data protection breach exposes your personal information, it could have significant consequences. These consequences could be in the nature of financial losses. Or you could suffer mental health problems due to the trauma and stress the data breach has caused you. In such cases, you may be able to pursue the solicitor for compensation. However, this is only on the grounds that the law firm or solicitor is liable for the potential personal data breach.

How Could A Solicitor Breach Your Data Privacy?

There are many ways that a data breach by a solicitor could possibly occur. Many data breaches are caused by simple mistakes and human error. Below, we have given a few examples.

  • A misdirected fax, which was sent to the wrong recipient, contained some of your personal data.
  • Your personal data is emailed to the wrong person.
  • A report containing your data was passed to a third party, without redacting your sensitive data.
  • A lost or stolen device had your personal data stored on it and it was not password protected or encrypted.
  • The BCC box was not used when sending a mass email, exposing your email address.

These are just a handful of examples. There are many more ways a data breach can be caused. Call and speak to our claims team for further advice.

Types Of Personal Data Handled By Solicitors

Data protection and privacy laws in the UK don’t protect all data. Regulations specify that only what is termed personal and special category data is protected. We have given examples of both of these types of data below.

  • Special category data is information and facts about you, that a third party could potentially exploit if they are found out. Examples would be your membership of a trade union, sexual persuasion, religious beliefs, racial background, etc.
  • Personal data is all of the information that is unique to you in some way and can be used to identify or exploit you. Examples would include your name, passwords, phone number, date of birth, email address, and postal address. Also, important financial data such as information about your bank account, debit card or credit card.

These are the types of information, that if exposed in a data breach by a solicitor, could form the basis of a compensation claim. This is in no way an exhaustive list, so please contact our team for more information.

Furthermore, all solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). In some cases, a solicitor data breach might be reported to the SRA.

How To Claim For A Data Breach By A Solicitor Or Lawyer

Before beginning a claim for a data breach by a solicitor, there are two optional steps you may want to take.

  1. Contact the legal firm you believe has breached your data. Ask them if a breach has occurred, how your data has been impacted, and whether it has been fixed.
  2. Make a report to the ICO to complain about the data breach

Both these steps can be a way of strengthening your claim. Any correspondence that proves your personal data has been involved in a breach is crucial to your data breach claim.

Also, it is important that you are aware that not all data breaches will mean those affected can make a claim. The foundation of a successful data breach claim rests on you being able to prove the data controller is liable for the breach.

However, you can call and speak to one of our expert advisors to get some help with this.

What Could You Claim For A Data Breach By A Solicitor

The Court of Appeal heard a case in 2015. The case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. set the precedent for claiming non-material damages when you are not making any claim for lost moneys.

We cannot provide you with a figure for the average compensation you might receive for a data breach by a solicitor. Every claim is different in some way. But what we can do, is provide the table you can see below. It shows compensation ranges for different types of mental health problems (non-matreial damages). We used the updated 2022 guidelines produced by the Judicial College that are used by the legal system to value injuries to make this table.

You may also be able to claim past or future financial losses as material damages. You would need to prove these losses though. Call our team to learn more about claiming material damages.

Mental InjurySeverity LevelMore NotesPotential Damages
(PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereAll aspects of the claimants life will be severely impacted. £59,860 to £100,670
(PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately SevereThere will be significant hardship at the outset of the condition. There is room for improvements with professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
(PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerateConsidering the patient has almost completely recovered, any remaining symptoms should not have a significant impact on the patient.£8,180 to £23,150
(PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderLess SevereMost of your symptoms will have disappeared after two years of suffering from PTSD. £3,950 to £8,180
Mental InjuriesSevereThose with severe mental illness have difficulty performing daily tasks, going to school, or working. Their chances of recovery are slim.£54,830 to £115,730
Mental InjuriesModerately SevereThere will be serious challenges faced by those affected by this disorder in their careers, relationships, etc. But a better prognosis than above. £19,070 to £54,830
Mental InjuriesModerateDespite experiencing significant mental health issues, the chances of the sufferer fully recovering from them are good.£5,860 to £19,070
Mental InjuriesLess SevereIn this category, the amount of compensation is determined by the severity and duration of the mental harm suffered.£1,540 to £5,860

Click Here To Learn More About Claiming Data Breach Compensation

Contact A Specialist Data Breach Solicitor

If you call our expert data breach claim advisors now they will assess any case for free. They will also provide free legal advice. When they can see you have a good chance of being awarded compensation they will offer to provide you with an expert data breach solicitor.

A solicitor from our panel will offer to work under a No Win No Fee arrangement. Meaning no upfront fees to get the claim rolling. And no fee to the lawyer if the claim fails. If you win your claim, you will need to pay your lawyer a small success fee, that is legally limited in amount.

Do you have additional questions that you need answers for, that this guide did not answer? Or maybe you are ready to claim data beach compensation for a data breach by a solicitor? Then use the information below to reach out to our team for more help and advice.

Telephone number: 020 3870 4868

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Find Out About Claiming With A Data Breach Solicitor

Here are some useful external links with relevant information.

The Data Breach Reporting Process Explained

How To Find Out What Data Is Kept About You

Here are some other guides we have published, that you may like to read.

Who Can Claim After A UK GDPR Breach?

Optician Data Breach Compensation Claims

Dentist Data Breach Compensation Claims

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