Criminal Solicitors Data Protection Breach – How To Claim Compensation

You may wonder what steps you could take if you have been impacted by a criminal solicitors data protection breach involving your personal information. You could be left suffering from a psychological injury, such as anxiety, or financial losses, such as loss of income. If the solicitors firm was at fault for the breach due to a failure to adhere to data protection laws, you could be eligible to make a claim.

Criminal solicitors data breach compensation claims guide

Criminal solicitors data protection breach compensation claims guide

However, it’s important to note that there are certain criteria that must be met in order for you to be eligible to seek compensation. As such, not all incidents of a data protection breach will form the basis of a valid claim. We will explore this further throughout our guide.

Additionally, in this guide, we will explain what a personal data breach is, how one could occur and the impact it could have.

We will also look at the compensation that could potentially awarded for the resulting damage. Please continue reading to learn more.

When Can You Claim For A Criminal Solicitor Data Protection Breach?

You may be eligible to claim compensation for a personal data breach if you can prove the following:

  • There were failings on the part of the solicitors firm to comply with data protection legislation, which led to your personal data being compromised.
  • The breach resulted in you suffering financial loss or emotional harm.

Please get in touch with our team of advisors for free advice on claiming compensation for a solicitors data breach. They are available 24 hours a day to talk at a time convenient for you. To get in touch, you can:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online to request a callback.
  • Chat with an advisor using the live support feature.

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What Is A Criminal Solicitors Data Protection Breach?

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent UK body responsible for upholding information rights, a personal data breach can be widely described as a security incident affecting the availability, confidentiality or integrity of personal data. A breach may occur because of human error, for example, if a letter containing your personal information was sent to the wrong postal address. Alternatively, it could happen as a result of criminal activity, such as a cyber-attack or phishing scam.

The two central pieces of legislation governing data protection are the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Alongside one another, they outline how data controllers and processors must protect the personal data they handle.

Data controllers are the decision-makers responsible for the means and purpose of processing personal data, and data processors act on the controllers instructions. As a data controller, this responsibility to adhere to data protection law extends to solicitors.

The UK GDPR also outlines the right victims of a personal data breach have to claim compensation. If a criminal solicitors data protection breach has occurred where the data controller or processor has failed to comply with data protection legislation, and you have been caused mental health injuries or financial harm, due to your personal data being compromised, please contact our team of advisors.

How Should Solicitors Handle Criminal Records Data?

The UK GDPR sets out rules specifically for the processing of criminal offence data. This is personal data that is linked to a person’s criminal offences or convictions or can be used to learn something about their criminal record. Extra protection is given to this type of personal data.

Under Article 10 of the UK GDPR, criminal offence data can only be processed if the processing is under the control of an official authority. This can include public bodies or private bodies who are carrying out public sector tasks. If data cannot be processed under the control of an official authority, it must be authorised by domestic law.

If a solicitors firm fails to adhere to these rules, it could lead to a criminal solicitors data protection breach.

When Should Solicitors Apply Data Protection Legislation To Offence Data?

To protect against a criminal solicitors data protection breach, all relevant data controllers and processors should adhere to data protection legislation at all times while handling criminal offence data.

If a solicitor fails to do so and your personal data is compromised, this could cause emotional distress. It could also impact future employment opportunities. Additionally, it could compromise the course of justice in an ongoing case.

However, there are certain circumstances where criminal offence data may need to be shared without it being a breach of data protection law. For example, certain Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks may be carried out to highlight information relating to criminal offence data, such as details on previous criminal convictions.

What Criminal Data Could Solicitors Access?

It is important for criminal injury lawyers to protect the data they process to prevent a lawyer data breach. They may have access to personal data which could be used to identify an individual, such as a name, email address, date of birth or phone number, as well as criminal offence data concerning their client’s previous prosecutions or convictions.

Additionally, they could have access to special category data, which is information of a sensitive nature that requires more protection. Examples of special category data include the following:

  • Philosophical or religious beliefs
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data

Please speak to a member of our team to learn more about the personal information a solicitor may hold about you.

What Could You Claim For A Solicitors Data Breach?

You may be asking, ‘how is compensation for a data breach calculated?‘. A successful personal data breach claim could consist of up to two heads of claim:

  • Material damage – Under this head, you can be compensated for the financial losses caused by the personal data breach. This can include loss of income if you have had to take time off work due to the emotional impact the breach has had on you. It is important to know that you must provide evidence of financial losses for which you intend to claim compensation. This may include payslips.
  • Non-material damage – Under this head, you can be compensated for the psychiatric injuries that the personal data breach caused. This could include distress, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder, in more severe cases.

Please take a look at our compensation table below. The compensation brackets are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Data breach solicitors and other legal professionals can turn to this document when calculating the value the non-material damage head of claim.

Injury and Severity Details of the Injury Compensation Amounts
Severe Psychiatric Injury (a) The person will have marked problems in relation to multiple aspects of daily life. This will affect their relationships and their ability to cope with work. The prognosis will be very poor. £54,830 – £115,730
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Injury (b) Whilst impacted in a similar way to the bracket above, the person’s prognosis is much more optimistic. £19,070 – £54,830
Moderate Psychiatric Injury (c) Although the person may have had some problems with multiple areas of their life, they will have made a marked improvement. £5,860 – £19,070
Less Severe Psychiatric Injury (d) Factors such as the extent of the impact on sleep and the length of the period of disability are taken into account. £1,540 – £5,860
Severe Anxiety Disorder (a) There will be permanent effects that will prevent this person from working or being able to function at a pre-trauma level. £59,860 – £100,670
Moderately Severe Anxiety Disorder (b) This bracket differs from the one above as the person will have a better prognosis due to some recovery with the help of a professional. £23,150 – £59,860
Moderate Anxiety Disorder (c) A large recovery will have taken place. Any continuing symptoms will not be grossly disabling. £8,180 – £23,150
Less Severe Anxiety Disorder (d) An effectively full recovery will have taken place within 12 – 24 months. £3,950 – £8,180

Please remember that these figures are a guide; the specific details of a claim can influence the settlement amount.

Call our advisors for advice to see if you could claim compensation for a criminal solicitors data protection breach.

Contact Us Following A Criminal Solicitors Data Protection Breach

If you are unsure whether you could seek compensation for the harm experienced as a result of a criminal solicitors data protection breach compromising your personal data, please get in touch.

Our advisors are available to speak to you about your potential claim. If they determine that your case could be valid, they may connect you with one of our expert data breach solicitors.

Our solicitors typically work under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee service. Under this kind of agreement, you generally won’t have to pay for a solicitor’s services upfront or during the ongoing claims process. Furthermore, you generally won’t pay for these services should your claim be unsuccessful.

On the other hand, a successful claim made under a CFA will generally see a solicitor take a ‘success fee’ from your compensation. This is a small percentage that the law caps.

To enquire about making a claim, please:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us online to request a callback.
  • Chat with an advisor using the live support feature.

Data Breach Claims Guides

You may find the following guides from our website helpful in learning more about making a data breach claim:

Additionally, we have included some external sources for further reading:

Thank you for reading our guide to criminal solicitors data protection breach claims. If you have any other questions, please get in touch using the details provided.

Guide by JO

Edited by MMI