Data Protection and Confidentiality

Specialist solicitors for advice and assistance on a variety of data protection issues to both individuals and businesses.

Rights in your supplier and customer database on the one hand and your unpublished technical data and work in progress on the other are equally protectable.

Data Protection Lawyers 

Data protection and protection of confidential information is an increasingly important area of law for 2 main reasons :-

  • Your business data is likely to be very valuable and you will want to have taken the right steps to mitigate against the risk of deliberate or inadvertent leakage of important confidential information. A legal strategy, documents and training are part of a comprehensive strategy but practical actions are also important.
  • To comply with obligations under Data Protection law – such laws apply to every business and the penalties for non-compliance can be very severe together with reputational risk.

Our solicitors have data protection expertise and experience including :-

  • Advising on the Data Protection Act, Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Advising clients on responding to Subject Access Requests.
  • Transfer of personal data.
  • Registration with the Information Commissioner.
  • Privacy Policies.
  • Lawful data collection, storage and retention.
  • Direct Marketing legal requirements and restrictions..
  • Individuals legal privacy rights.
  • Privacy law.
  • Selling online – the importance of staying within the law with subscriber and customer privacy and security.
  • CCTV and privacy legal issues..
  • Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection Directive [95/46/EEC].
  • Disclosures under transfers of businesses (TUPE).
  • Freedom of Information.
  • Digital marketing data issues such as the law on cold calling, cookies, email sign ups, accuracy of claims or information, opt outs.

Confidentiality Agreements

If you do not make use of a confidentiality agreement, you will need to rely on the law of Confidential Information, which is far from ideal.

In order to bring a claim, you would need to show that the information had a necessary quality of confidence, that the idea was disclosed to the potential defendant in circumstances where an obligation of confidence can be assumed and that there has been an unauthorised use of the information. All 3 elements can be difficult to prove.

You can easily find a large selection of template confidentiality or NDA Agreements online. We always caution against using these because each situation where vital information, documents, designs or physical items are being disclosed is different. A tailored agreement, drafted by solicitors, which both you and other involved parties fully understand, is recommended, especially given what’s at stake.

Clauses in a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and Possible Pitfalls

It is easy to overlook obvious risks with an NDA Agreement – for example, you may get an investor or employee to sign an NDA but what happens if he or she makes copies of whatever you disclose and passes them on?

You will have redress against the party that signs the Agreement but that may well not be enough. Other dangers come via lack of experience. For example, demanding a sophisticated potential investor signs up to “your standard NDA” which is template and heavily drafted in your favour, may result in the investor refusing to even meet with you.

Including a severe penalty clause is another common error. It is easy to think that including a clause saying, for example, that any breach of the Agreement by the recipient of the confidential information or data will result in millions in compensation, is a good idea. Such a clause would almost certainly be unenforceable under English law, which does not allow liquidated penalty damages generally speaking.

If you need experienced and cost effective lawyers for a confidentiality agreement or NDA, we are a sound choice. Our general expertise in IP and IT means we can often get a firm grip on the issues quickly.

Enforcement – Unlawful Disclosure or Theft of Data

Briffa’s intellectual property solicitors have taken action for businesses to prevent theft of data by competitors and employees. Often fast and decisive action is required. We are expert in preventing and tracking theft and securing effective remedies.

Sometimes action is vital to ensure your business and its competitive edge is maintained.

Get in touch with our lawyers if you need legal advice on any aspect of data protection law or need a bespoke NDA or confidentiality agreement for an important possible business deal or for employees relating to IP.

Related content
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Damages for IP claims

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Personal confidential information

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Database Rights

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