Questions to ask when choosing data breach lawyers
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we help our clients to claim data breach compensation following data protection violations, GDPR breaches and other cyber offences. But we understand that appointing a solicitor can be daunting. How do you know if they are the right firm for you, and, can you be sure that you won't have to pay any unforeseen costs? To make the process a little bit easier, here are just some of the questions you should ask when choosing a data breach lawyer.
Is you firm a cybercrime/data breach expert?
The best way to make an organisation pay for a failure in data breach security is to use a specialist data breach lawyer. Of course, you would expect us to say that - but let us explain why.
A niche data breach law firm will employ specialists in data breach law. That goes without saying. But more than this, if you use a firm that only deals with one type of law, you can be sure that everyone else - from the person who first picks up your call to the managing director - also has experience in this area. And, rather than having to compete with different departments for budget - all the resources of the firm will go towards enhancing its area of expertise.
How long have your data breach lawyers been doing this for?
Data breach and cybercrime breaches are a relatively new and evolving area of law, so it can be difficult to find specialists. But, over the past few years, our firm has established itself as the only niche provider of legal services in this area. And, because we have been doing this for longer than most, we lead our field when it comes to understanding the complexities involved.
Before that, we worked on different types of compensation claims. And, with over 50 years' experience helping our clients secure the justice they deserve, our solicitors work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for you. Both in terms of damages achieved and service delivered.
Because of the level of our legal expertise, we provide an authoritative voice on data protection and cybercrime hot topics.
Do you have experience of taking on big companies?
When it comes to winning cases, understanding the law is only half the battle. You also need experience. At Hayes Connor, our data breach lawyers have the legal expertise necessary to take on big players such as Ticketmaster, Dixons, BA, Equifax and Yahoo (among others!). In fact, in 2019 we were the only UK legal firm to launch a multi-party action against Ticketmaster and we issued a landmark £100 million data breach claim against Equifax.
What is your success rate like?
Every case is different. But you don't want to appoint data breach lawyers that don't have any experience when it comes to winning cases and achieving compensation for their clients. Last year at Hayes Connor:
- 75% of our claims were concluded in under 9 months
- We secured the largest amount of compensation for an individual claimant. In this case the client was awarded £100,000
- We saw the average amount recovered for clients increase by over 25%. We are anticipating further growth in 2020.
Have your data breach lawyers got experience in managing group actions?
Where enough people have been affected by the same data breach, it is usually worth launching a group action against the at-fault company. We believe that a group action is the best way forward for data breach claims of this nature. It allows people with the same type of claim to bring it together on a collective basis to strengthen their overall position and increase their chances of success.
At Hayes Connor, we are currently managing a number of large data breach group actions. You can find out more about these here. And, in addition to our own legal expertise, we also work with expert barristers to help us win our group action cases. So, we are confident that our team will get the results you deserve.
Are you only interested in group actions?
Group actions hit the headlines and they can be profitable and reputation-building for data breach lawyers and law firms. But every day, smaller data breaches are also causing misery and upset to people across the UK. In most cases, these privacy violations aren't caused by scammers trying to hack big businesses, but by simple human errors. And, while these incidents don't make the news, for those involved the experience can be devastating.
At Hayes Connor, our experts deal with a significant volume of individual data breach cases each day. During our work, we see many different types of claims. So, we know how data breaches can affect people in different ways. And we treat every single case with the same high level of care.
Are you going to pester me?
We get angry when we hear about people being pressured into making a data breach compensation claim. The decision should always be 100% yours, and you should always feel in control of the situation. So, if someone you have never heard of starts calling you up to tell you they can help with your data breach incident then you are right to be annoyed.
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we only ever get in touch with people who have asked us to, which means we never cold call, send spam texts, spam emails, or engage in any other form of nuisance marketing. And we never pressure anyone into making a claim. So, if you want us to stop calling you, even after you have told us about a breach, we will.
Are you registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority?
To put your mind at ease before appointing a data breach lawyer in the UK, you should check that they are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Firms regulated by the SRA meet the high standards set by the regulator. It also means that you are appropriately protected should anything go wrong.
Crucially, when it comes to making a compensation claim, working with a non-registered firm can leave you open to advice and representation below the standard expected. And this could see you lose out financially as a result.
SRA regulated firms are also required to display their SRA ID on their letterhead, email and website. Hayes Connor Solicitors is a trading name of FD Law Ltd which is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA number 632067.
Who will be helping me?
More and more legal services are being delivered online. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't know who you are working with. Ask for names and take a look at the data protection solicitor's website to see if it lists the people who actually work there. You can check out our expert team here.
Will you provide a free consultation?
The best data breach lawyers in the UK will provide you with a free consultation to make sure they can help you before asking for any money.
If you want to make a data breach or cybercrime compensation claim with Hayes Connor, we'll advise you on whether you have a valid claim, answer any questions you might have and go through your options with you. We will do all this without charging you a penny.
As well as providing a free initial assessment of your case, we have also created a wealth of free advice to raise awareness of the importance of data protection. We encourage individuals and organisations to use this information to help keep everyone safe.
What can your data breach lawyers help me to claim for?
All too often, claims management companies are more concerned about making fast cash than helping victims. So, while they might help you get some money back for a data breach, they are less concerned about ensuring you are fully compensated for the long-term and often physiological effects of a breach. When you appoint us, we make sure you get the maximum compensation possible.
Typically, we would look to claim for:
- The breach of privacy itself
- Any money lost (e.g. if a cybercriminal used your bank card)
- Stress, worry, and anxiety
- Any recognised psychological injury
- The effect that the leak has had on your social and home life
- Any loss of earnings as a direct result of the breach (e.g. if you need time off work or lose your job)
- The loss of future earnings (e.g. if you have to drop out of university)
- Any expenses that you have had to pay as a result of the data breach (e.g. private medical care, travel expenses, accommodation, etc.).
Because we understand that the full impact of a data breach is often not felt until months after the initial violation, we take a long-term view when it comes to claiming compensation on your behalf.
But more than this, we also help you get your life back on track ASAP.
Do you offer a no-win, no-fee service?
It is vital that everyone can afford to make a data breach or cybercrime compensation claim should they need to. Removing the financial risk, at Hayes Connor Solicitors, we provide many services on a no-win, no-fee basis to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. In such cases, if we don't win, you don't have to pay us a penny.
How much will you charge if I win?
If your claim is successful, you usually have to contribute towards your solicitor's costs. This 'success fee' is taken from the compensation awarded to you, and in some cases, it can be much higher than you expected.
The amount of the success fee depends on when your case is settled, but with Hayes Connor Solicitors, you never have to pay more than 25% of your compensation. We have to charge this to cover our costs. There are no hidden charges or other administration fees.
We always make sure you are fully informed about any potential costs before we proceed.
Can I see what other clients think of your data breach lawyers?
Most solicitors will tell you that they are great at what they do. But you don't have to take their word for it. Have a look at their website to see if it includes any testimonials to find out what other people think about working with them.
How secure are your data processes?
After a data breach, it's only natural that you'd be worried about data security. So, any data protection firm you speak to should be happy to answer questions on this subject. At Hayes Connor, our process is also fully compliant with ICO guidance and we never put your details at risk.