Conveyancing Solicitor Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide
Has your personal data been subject to a conveyancing solicitor data breach? Did a solicitor acting on your behalf or that of the other party fail to adequately protect your personal information? This guide offers help on what to do next.
Buying or selling a house can entail sharing a significant level of personal information. This can range from personal details, such as your name and current address to very private financial and banking matters.
In the UK, laws require all those involved in data handling to practice strict codes of conduct with it. Personal data is protected under these laws specifically and if a data controller, such as a law firm, fails in their obligation to protect it, harm that is suffered could be claimed for. If you wish to discuss your conveyancing data breach compensation claim, please:
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- What Is A Conveyancing Solicitor Data Breach Compensation Claim?
- How Could A Conveyancing Solicitor Breach Your Data Privacy?
- Sensitive Data Handled By Conveyancing Solicitors
- Examples Of A Conveyancing Solicitors Data Breach
- Conveyancing Solicitors Data Breach Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Conveyancing Solicitor Data Breach Compensation Claim
A conveyancing solicitor’s data breach could happen in a number of ways. Before we discuss them, it’s important to look at the two main pieces of legislation that protect the data rights of the public in general.
The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) describe the ways that all personal data must be processed using certain security measures and procedures. Personal data is a term that covers any information that can be used on its own or alongside other details as a way of identifying someone as a living person.
Some personal data is classed as special category which requires even more care in its handling. A conveyancing solicitor data breach could be caused by an accidental or deliberate action that compromises the safety and integrity of the personal data held about you.
7 Core Principles
The UK GDPR is enforced by an independent body called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and they can issue severe penalties to any organisation or public body that fails to uphold these data protection laws. They do not pay compensation after a data breach negatively impacted you, but you can request that they investigate an issue.
UK GDPR describes 7 core principles by which data must be processed:
- Collected in a lawful, fair and transparent way
- Data limitation
- Purpose limited
- Accurate and kept up to date
- Stored for limited periods of time
- Kept securely and in a way that protects its integrity
- All controllers or processors involved should take personal responsibility for these principles
It’s vital to be able to show that a controller or processor of your personal data failed to adhere to data protection legislation and this caused the breach in order to have a valid claim. You can speak to our team now to learn more about conveyancing solicitor data breach compensation claims.
A personal data breach which is a security incident can involve the loss, alteration, duplication, destruction, unauthorised sharing, or verbal disclosure of your personal data. It can include letters posted to the wrong address, emails forwarded to the incorrect recipient or lost devices. Additionally, hackers may access digitally stored data.
Human error is the main cause of data breaches. Your conveyancing solicitor may have simply made a genuine mistake with paperwork or digital files.
Perhaps they lost a device that contained your personal details? If the device was not encrypted or password protected, another party could gain access to your data. Even a verbal disclosure can be all it takes to place data at risk.
Regardless of the way the breach came about what is important in order to make a claim is showing how this has breached data protection law. If a data controller has done all they can to protect your data and adhered to the applicable laws a claim is less likely.
Conveyancing solicitors can find themselves in possession of personal data of a sensitive nature. For example;
- Racial and ethnic background
- Sexual orientation
- Health data
- Trade union membership
If you suspect that your personal or personally sensitive data has been breached you can raise a concern with the law firm and if you’re not happy with the response you can complain to the ICO as well. Reportable data breaches must be brought to your attention without undue delay.
The law firm also has a responsibility to report the incident to the ICO no later than 72 hours after they became aware of it.
Personal data breaches that infringe on the rights and freedoms of data subjects must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours of discovery. The ICO use these reportable incidents and create data security incidents trends. The graph contains reported non-cyber security incidents in the legal sector for the fourth financial quarter 2021/22.
If your conveyancing solicitor personal data breach compensation claim is successful there are two heads of damage that are claimable.
Material damage is assessed by taking all the documented proof you have of financial damage. This can be because of stolen funds from your bank account or fraud perpetrated in your name. Therefore, it’s important to keep bank statements and related paperwork as proof.
The next area is non-material damage and these reflect the psychological impact of a data breach. When personal details are leaked it can result in significant mental health injury in the form of anxiety, depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Non-material damage in its own right can be claimed after a case called Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc.
A data breach solicitor can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to see what mental health injuries are valued at in terms of compensation as the excerpt below shows:
|Description of Psychiatric/Psychological Injury||JC Guideline Award Bracket||Notes|
|General Psychiatric Injury||(a) Severe Cases - £54,830 to £115,730||A poor prognosis indicated with persistent difficulties with education, work and personal relationships.|
|General Psychiatric Injury||(b) Cases that are more Moderate to Severe - £19,070 to £54,830||Similar significant issues to those above and whilst still representative of a long-standing illness, a better prognosis.|
|General Psychiatric Injury||(c) Moderate Level - £5,860 to £19,070||Symptoms will have undergone a marked improvement by the time the case may need to be heard in court.|
|General Psychiatric Injury||(d) Less Severe Cases - £1,540 to £5,860||Awards given to reflect the length of the illness and whether any specific phobias or anxiety disorders were triggered.|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe Level - £59,860 to £100,670||Permanent impacts that leave the person unable to cope at anything like pre-trauma level|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)||(b) A level that is more moderate to severe -£23,150 to £59,860||A better recovery than above is indicated after professional counselling|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)||(c) Moderate Degree - £8,180 to £23,150||Largely a recovery with persisting symptoms being minor and manageable|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)||(d) Cases that are less severe - £3,950 to £8,180||Cases of full recovery within a 2 year period and only very minor issues persisting beyond this.|
These are not certain compensation amounts and are merely guideline figures from the latest edition.
This acts as a payment to the No Win No Fee solicitor but if the case fails, there are no solicitors’ fees owed at all. Find out more about how we could connect you to a data breach solicitor today. Our advisors are standing by to offer help and guidance when you:
Conveyancing Solicitors Data Breach – Related Claims Against Solicitors
In addition to conveyancing solicitor data breach compensation claims, the resources below offer further reading:
- Information about misused personal data
- Further reading on why solicitors charge a 25% success fee
- Also, what to do after data has been lost after a breach
- Court Case Data Breach Claims Case Study
- HIV Data Breach Claims Guide
- Hospital Mental Health Data Breach – Case Study
- Monzo Bank Data Breach – Could I Claim?
- My Medical Information Was Shared – Can I Claim?
- Immigration Information Data Breach – Can I Claim?
- Metro Bank Data Breach – Could I Claim?
- How To Report A Data Breach To The ICO
- Image Data Breach Claims Case Study
- As well as this, read more on the Data Protection Act 2018
- In addition to this, read more on staying safe online
- In conclusion, more data breach statistics.