logo text

Tuesday 18 October 2016

UK Information Commissioner goes after company directors

At the recent House of Commons Public Bill Committee meeting, the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, laid out a series of measures to tighten up protection and regulation in the digital age and enable the ICO to pursue individual company directors with fines in the event of data protection regulation breaches.

The ICO considers that when it levies a fine (£4 million in total were levied last year), the company in question all too often goes under before that fine can be paid, leaving the ICO with little more than a headline and an intent to punish.   Occasionally, those same directors reappear some time later with a new company.  Denham wants this to stop, and wants company directors to be personally liable for fines handed out to their companies.  At the moment, the ICO can fine up to £500,000 which would have a significant impact on any one director.  Under the GDPR these fines will increase dramatically. 

Denham made this headline recommendation when discussing the new Digital Economy Bill which intends to progress the digital agenda for individuals and government.  No further detail was offered on how this change of approach would be implemented and managed, but it signals a clear intent to ensure punitive measures are actually followed through.

A number of other measures are also on the table:

  • Implementation of a new Electronic Communications Code to protect people from the practise of “nuisance calls" 
  • Enabling and controlling data sharing between private companies and public authorities 
  • Put the ICO’s Direct Marketing Code into statute 
  • Lower the threshold defining harm to an individual following a breach 
  • Improve transparency on the collection of personal data and inform on safeguards.  Publication of Privacy Impact Assessments was mooted.

 We will of course keep you posted on this and other developments with the Bill.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Pritchetts Law - A top National and Regional Firm



The major independent research guide Legal 500 has published their 2016-2017 guide this month and Pritchetts Law are absolutely delighted to have been ranked by the publication as one of the top UK National and Regional Law Firms for providing specialist data protection advice.
To rank firms, Legal 500 carry out extensive research, including carrying out many thousands of interviews with clients, competitors and industry peers to gain feedback on the numerous law firms across the UK who are working in various specialist sectors. 
Within the guide it describes Pritchetts as a “specialist data protection firm” and states that “Pritchetts Law has a ‘reliable and expert practice’ led by the ‘immensely experienced and very friendly’ Stephanie Pritchett.”
We are absolutely delighted that following the independent research carried out by the Legal 500, it has acknowledged our particular expertise, our excellent performance and has recommended our lawyers for their client service.   
Our sincere thanks to all of our clients and peers, who kindly gave their time to provide feedback to the Legal 500 about our expertise and our services.  You have been instrumental in helping us to achieve the ranking and recommendations set out in the guide and we are very grateful.