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Data Breach Claims: GDPR Solicitors

In today’s commercial world, it is more important than ever that private and personal information stays private – and cyber risks make it that much harder for businesses to lock their digital assets down.

Nothing is more worrying than the thought of a stranger having access to your most valuable information. Yet companies are often hesitant to take legal action because data protection solicitors can be expensive and the subject is highly technical.

Data breach incidents are common and statistics from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have shown that cyber-related data security incidents have risen over the past three years.

Data breaches are serious as they may lead to identity theft, misuse of personal information, financial losses and emotional distress for victims.

Data Protection Solicitors

What is a data breach?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018 with the aim of providing individuals with more control over their data in circumstances where it is held by a third party. A third party may include an online or offline retailer, social media platforms, or online services.

You are likely to have been the victim of a data protection breach under GDPR if your personal, sensitive or confidential information has been exposed by a company or person to an unauthorised party, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Under GDPR, a personal data breach can be describes as a violation of confidential or secure personal information. A breach can occur whether the information was destroyed, lost, stolen, or misused, and the breach may be accidental or deliberate.

Examples of a data breach may include:

  • Hackers gaining access to sensitive, confidential personal or financial information
  • A letter containing sensitive information being sent to the wrong postal address
  • An email containing sensitive information being sent to the wrong email address

If you think you have been the victim of a data breach, you may wish to speak to a solicitor about making a data protection claim.

Data breach claims

GDPR provides you with a right to make claim for compensation against a company or organisation that has broken data protection law, whether you have suffered material damage (suffered financial loss) or non-material damage (such as emotional distress).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a public body that can investigate your case and determine whether or not you have suffered a data breach, and whether the organisation is at fault for the breach. The ICO, however, does not award compensation. Having them investigate your case will add weight to your claim, but you will be required to make a data breach compensation claim against the organisation.

It is worth noting that you do not need to contact the ICO, you can bring a case directly yourself, or with the assistance of a data breach solicitor.

Data breach time limits

There are time limits for making data breach claims. A claim must be brought within six years of you becoming aware of the breach.

How much compensation could you receive?

The amount of compensation you will receive for a data breach claim can vary significantly depending on the extent of personal data that was exposed in the incident and the emotional impact of this to the person involved.  Each case would be considered on their individual facts. Lower value claims can start from £750 but higher value cases can attract awards of tens of thousands of pounds. 

Funding a data breach claim

Your solicitor may agree to take on your case on a no win no fee basis, or they may set an hourly rate or fixed fee rate for working on your case. This should be discussed with your solicitor before proceeding with your claim.

If you solicitor takes on your case on a no win, no fee basis, this means they could also be taking out legal expenses/ ATE insurance on your behalf.

ATE insurance is used to protect claimants from the risk of having to pay the other side’s costs if their case is unsuccessful. The insurance policy will respond to the opponent’s legal fees and, on occasion, it may insure disbursements, depending on the wording of the policy.

There is usually an upfront cost for commercial ATE insurance. However, in data breach claims, were there has been a misuse of private information, payment of this insurance premium is often deferred until the conclusion of the case. In some cases the premium can be recovered from the opponent and in other cases clients may  pay for this premium from the damages they received if their case is successful

Alternatively, a contingency fee or damages based agreement (DBA) may be used to fund your case. This is where a solicitor agrees to fund your case in the hope of being successful and being paid as a share of the damages recovered. The client benefits from not paying the solicitor’s fees as the case progresses, and only paying the solicitor if the case is successful.

How can Annecto Legal help with data breach claims?

Our solicitor partners understand the complexity of privacy and GDPR law. From data protection, to the law of confidence, to defamation, we connect you with our network of highly qualified data breach claims solicitors and help you sort case funding.

Although Annecto Legal do not deal with data breach claims, we can pass your enquiry onto a firm of solicitors who can assist. If you would like to start your data breach claim, please feel free to contact Hayes Connor Solicitors (or any other firm of data breach solicitors). You can start your claim with Hayes Connor Solicitors using the form on their website by clicking the button below. Please note, we do not receive payments from the firms on our panel, they are independent firms and we are not recommending use of this firm, we simply pass your enquiry onto a firm who can help. If you choose to start your claim using the form below, Annecto Legal will not be dealing with the claim; however, we may provide litigation funding on insurance for your case, if required. 



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