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Countdown to GDPR - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers

30/04/18. There is no doubting the hot topic this Spring. In all of my last visits to Court, the conversation in the robing room has turned at some stage to issues surrounding compliance with the GDPR. Nor is the concern limited to lawyers; in the last month, my inbox has been flooded with emails from organisations big and small asking if I want to remain on their mailing list. It is clear that minds are being focussed on data protection issues and significant operational changes may result.

Perhaps the most obvious point to make is that everyone involved in personal injury litigation is likely to be significantly affected by GDPR. The reason is that the definition of “sensitive personal data” includes information about the data subject’s physical or mental health. The medical records and reports that feature in every personal injury case fall into this category and will need to be processed appropriately.

It is not the intention of these pages to offer advice on compliance with GDPR; there are many consultants willing to offer that service for a price. But it is worth drawing attention to the help available. In addition to paid consultants, both the Bar Council and Law Society websites now carry extensive material on GDPR compliance including advice and helpful toolkits. Information is also available on the Information Commissioner’s website.

The countdown has now begun in earnest. GDPR, with its enormous maximum fines, comes into force on 25 May 2018. Even those with robust systems already in place, may wish to invest time in training and risk assessment before that date.

Aidan Ellis
Temple Garden Chambers

Image ©iStockphoto.com/PashaIgnatov