What Is A Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Claim?

This guide will explore the process of making a divorce lawyer data breach claim. There are certain criteria your claim will need to meet in order to be valid which this guide will explore in more detail.  

divorce lawyer data breach claim

Divorce lawyer data breach claim guide

Data controllers and processors are responsible for protecting your personal data, as per data protection law. A data controller decides how and when your data is processed. They can also process data themselves. A data processor acts on behalf of the data controller.

As data controllers, divorce lawyers must adhere to data protection law. If they don’t, resulting in your personal data being breached, you may be able to claim. But, you must prove that you sustained psychological harm or financial loss due to the personal data breach.

This guide will examine how you could claim against a divorce lawyer for a data breach. We will also discuss how our panel of solicitors could represent your personal data breach claim via a No Win No Fee agreement.

Contact our advisors if you want more information. They are available to help you 24 hours a day. To get in touch, you can:

Select A Section

  1. Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Claim
  2. Data Security Incidents Affecting Lawyers
  3. Causes Of A Divorce Lawyer Data Breach
  4. How A Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Could Affect You
  5. What May Be Claimed For A Breach Of Data Protection?
  6. How We Could Help With Your Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Claim

Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Claim

Personal data is information that can identify a person. It can be anything from your name, home address and phone number. A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the confidentiality, availability or integrity of personal data. 

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), alongside an updated version of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), set out the obligations and responsibilities a data controller and processor has for processing the personal data of UK citizens. 

To make a personal data breach claim, you must prove that a data controller or processor failed to adhere to data protection law. For example, they did not update their cyber security leaving them more susceptible to a cyber security incident. This can result in your personal data being compromised. Because of this, you could suffer mental or financial damage.

Contact our team today for more information on a divorce lawyer data breach claim.

Are Lawyers Exempt From The UK GDPR?

The UK GDPR and DPA 2018 set strict rules regarding data use. However, in certain circumstances, there are exemptions from particular requirements set out in the UK GDPR. The exemptions generally depend on an organisation’s purposes for processing personal data. If an exemption applies to a particular body, they might not have to comply with certain obligations, such as:

  • The right of access.
  • Dealing with other individual rights.
  • The right to be informed.

Legal professionals, such as divorce lawyers, may be exempt from certain UK GDPR provisions, such as:

  • The right of access.
  • The right to be informed.

However, the UK GPDR advise that each exemption must be considered case-by-case.

Furthermore, legal professionals are still expected to uphold their responsibilities to protect their client’s personal data.

Data Security Incidents Affecting Lawyers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released statistics on data security incidents. As per the statistics, there were 141 non-cyber and cyber security incidents during Quarter 4 of the 2021/22 financial year. 

The nature of these varied but examples include:

  • Data emailed to incorrect recipient (48)
  • Data posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient (29)
  • Failure to redact (9)
  • Hardware or software misconfiguration (1)
  • Phishing (17)
  • Ransomware (6)
  • Unauthorised access (cyber) (1)

Causes Of A Divorce Lawyer Data Breach

A personal data breach could occur as a result of various issues, such as human error or a cyber attack. They can compromise both physical and digital personal data. Examples include:

  • Your divorce lawyer may have had a paper file containing information on your case, including reasons for the divorce and your financial details. On the way to the office, they may have lost this file, which resulted in someone stealing the file. As a result, it could cause you stress and anxiety due to your personal data being compromised. 
  • Your divorce lawyer accidentally uses the wrong email address when sending you an email containing your personal information. As a result, your personal data may have been accessed by someone who wasn’t authorised. 

If you have experienced a breach of your personal data causing you mental harm or financial losses, call our team. They can discuss whether you’re eligible to make a divorce lawyer data breach claim.

How A Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Could Affect You 

A divorce lawyer data breach could affect you in various ways. For example, you may suffer from psychological effects such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and in more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder. 

You may also suffer from financial loss due to the data breach. This can be anything from having your bank account information stolen or having to move house and install security measures due to stress and fear caused by the data breach.

In some cases, having your personal data breached by your divorce lawyer can lead to serious consequences. For example, your divorce lawyer may have accidentally sent a letter containing your new address to the wrong postal address, e.g. your old address where your abusive ex- partner lives.

As a result, the ex-partner has been able to track you down which can result in you suffering from emotional distress. Additionally, you may have had to relocate, costing you money.

In cases where you’re eligible to make a divorce lawyer data breach claim, you could seek compensation for the damage you have experienced. See the section below for more information.

What May Be Claimed For A Breach Of Data Protection?

If you are eligible to pursue a personal data breach claim, there are two forms of damages that you may be able to claim – material and non-material.

Material damages consider what financial losses occurred due to the data breach. For example, money that has been stolen from your debit or credit card account or loans that are taken out in your name, affecting your credit score. To be able to claim these finances back, you must keep a record of them. This could include bank statements.

Non-material damages asses the mental suffering you endure because of the data breach. Previously, if you wanted to claim for non-material damages, you would have to prove that you also suffered from financial loss. However, this is not the case anymore and you can claim non-material damages independently of material damages. 

You may be looking for data breach compensation examples that could be awarded under non-material damages. When valuing this head of claim, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. We have used the compensation brackets listed alongside different psychological injuries in this publication to create the table below. However, the following values should only be used as a guideline.

Psychological Injury Additional Details Compensation Bracket
Mental Harm (a) Severe – A very poor prognosis. £54,830 – £115,730
Mental Harm (b) Moderately Severe – An optimistic prognosis but still significant problems. £19,070 to £54,830
Mental Harm (c) Moderate – A good prognosis and significant improvement. £5,860 – £19,070
Mental Harm (d) Less Severe – Daily activities and sleep will be affected. £1,540 to £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a) Severe – Permanent issues affecting all aspects of the person’s life. £59,860 – £100,670
PTSD (b) Moderately Severe – A better prognosis due to professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
PTSD (c) Moderate – The person will have largely recovered. Continuing symptoms will not be majorly disabling. £8,180 – £23,150
PTSD (d) Less Severe – A mostly full recovery and only minor symptoms continuing. £3,950 – £8,180

How We Could Help With Your Divorce Lawyer Data Breach Claim

A No Win No Fee agreement may benefit you if you seek personal data breach compensation and want to do so with legal representation. There are different types, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The solicitors from our panel can offer to represent your claim under a CFA which means: 

  • When starting a claim, there are no payable fees upfront.
  • There are no payable fees during the process of your claim.
  • If your case doesn’t succeed, you will not be obligated to pay for your solicitor’s services.
  • If your case is successful, your solicitor will deduct a small success fee from your compensation. However, this is subject to a legal cap.

You can contact our advisors for more advice on if you are eligible to make a divorce lawyer data breach claim. They can also discuss the possibility of working with a solicitor from our panel.

To get in touch, you can:

Find Out More About Data Breaches Involving Solicitors

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We hope this guide on making a divorce lawyer data breach claim has helped. If you need any other information, call our team on the number above.

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