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Your privacy details are just that... yours

If you have suffered distress due to a breach of data protection or a breach of confidentiality, Hugh James’ dedicated data protection solicitors will be able to offer free advice on making a claim for compensation.

In England and Wales an individual has the right to know how their personal information is used by third parties. The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK-General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. Any organisation that holds personal information on you must ensure that your personal information is:

  • Used fairly and lawfully
  • Used for limited, specifically stated purposes
  • Used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
  • Handled according to people’s data protection rights
  • Kept safe and secure

What is a breach of data protection?

A breach of data protection can occur when an organisation holding personal information on you, doesn’t comply with the above data protection guidelines. If an organisation holding personal information on you breaches the Data Protection Act or GDPR, for instance, by misusing or accidentally releasing personal information, affected individuals may be entitled to compensation for damage and distress caused as a result. Breaches of statutory data protection may not be deliberate and can include instances when an organisation’s database or website has been hacked.

If data that is held upon you is inaccurate, you may be entitled to require its correction and in some cases, you can demand its erasure.

If you believe that you have been affected by a breach of data protection, then contact today for free, initial advice on obtaining compensation.

Large numbers may be affected

When there are breaches of data protection it is not uncommon for the details of numerous individuals to be involved. If you believe that your personal information has been misused or has not been kept safely and securely it is unlikely that you are alone. Hugh James solicitors is one of the UK’s leading specialists in group actions. We specialise in acting for large numbers of individuals as a group, collectively seeking the same legal action against the same defendant.

How do I make a claim for compensation?

If you have a data protection complaint and the organisation in question does not agree to pay you compensation for the breach, you can make a claim via the court. If your private details have been misused or released to third parties unlawfully or without authorisation (including via hacking) you should contact us today, for free, initial advice on your breach of data protection claim.

Our experience

Below are some examples of how we have helped our clients:

  • A family was involved in adoption when the local authority disclosed their location and surname to the birth mother. A claim was successfully pursued for six figure damages to include moving house, changing name, and risk reduction measures.
  • A family was involved in adoption when the court disclosed their involvement to the birth parent contrary to a court order. We arranged the urgent removal of the family to safe accommodation and continue to pursue a claim for damages to include permanently moving house, changing name, and other suitable risk reduction measures.
  • Our client suffered a misuse of her private information by her NHS consultant abusing his private practice privileges to access his former patient’s medical records in the private hospital for his purposes. Compensation was obtained along with a significant apology from the doctor concerned..
  • Our client had her most sensitive private information accessed by her line manager whilst working in an NHS trust. The manager was accessing her records after she had been informed that our client had a medical procedure and was therefore off work. The medical records were accessed whilst she was in the ward. There were other associated breaches of this personal information.. The claim settled before the issue of proceedings.
  • Our client’s GP records were lost. They were sent by mistake to an external site confusing the name of the patient. The records were eventually discovered only after the intervention of this firm and then the records were inspected. A series of serious inaccuracies were discovered within the records. A claim for damages, redaction and correction of the relevant records followed. Some of the inaccuracies could have led to a serious impact upon health. For example, a known allergy was left off the electronic record. The wrong patient’s details were given to referring clinician. The case was resolved with a significant payment of damages and the correction of all of the inaccurate medical records.
  • A school lost a pupil’s records when they were sent out by post without using a method of secure transmission. The records included much sensitive family information. The records were never found but compensation was agreed and subsequently approved by the court.


Recently there has been a series of High Court decisions that show the court is unimpressed by breaches that it considers only a nuisance or mildly irritating. This means a claimant needs to be able to prove a financial loss or significant distress; the fact of the breach itself is insufficient to recover compensation.

Key contact

Mark Harvey


Mark Harvey is a Partner in the claimant division. He has obtained compensation for many individual victims of common but defective consumer products as well as victims of accidents overseas and arising out of travel generally.

Mark is the court appointed lead solicitor coordinating over 1,000 claimants in a group litigation order (GLO) arising out of the recall and health alert relating to the French manufacturer’s PIP silicone breast implants.

Next steps

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