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Hayes Connor to launch group action following ICO Dixons fine

Data protection specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors will be launching a group action against Dixons Carphone Warehouse after the ICO announced a £500,000 fine last week following the group’s significant data breach in 2018.

The retailer, which owns Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, admitted in 2018 that an undetected cyber-attack took place over a nine-month period between July 2017 and April 2018 exposing the card details of 5.6 million customers, and the personal details of 14 million individuals.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The ICO’s decision has been long awaited and is the maximum fine that can be imposed on breaches that occurred before GDPR came into force. We submitted a disclosure request to Dixons in 2018 but it refused to answer until after the ICO’s decision.

“We have now recommenced that process and expect that in the coming months a group action will be launched. The data breach has exposed millions of its customers to potential identity fraud which could include fake bank accounts being opened in their name, fake credit applications and access to existing bank accounts.

“The ICO’s investigation found Dixons responsible for multiple failings including having inadequate software patches to prevent the cyber-attack, the absence of a local firewall and a lack of network segregation and routine system tests.

“As a result of its inadequate cybersecurity, millions of Dixons’ customers will have suffered, or are at a risk of, significant financial losses. The psychological stress following such a breach cannot be underestimated with clients often reporting anxiety and depression following a breach of their personal data and this can have an impact on every aspect of a victim’s life.”

The ICO investigation into the Dixons Carphone Warehouse data breach found that the cyber-attack comprised malicious software installed on 5,390 tills in branches of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores.

Kingsley Hayes continued: “Dixons has been extremely lucky that this cybersecurity wake up call took place prior to GDPR with the breach taking place over a nine month period up to just one month prior to GDPR coming into force.

“With an annual turnover of £billions, the penalties had the incident continued after 25th May 2018 would have proved extremely damaging. With the high street already facing significant challenges, businesses in the retail sector should heed the warning and ensure that watertight cybersecurity is in place before consumer confidence is further eroded.”

Hayes Connor Solicitors was the first firm to serve a representative data breach claim in the High Court following the Court of Appeal’s ground-breaking ruling on 2nd October 2019. The ruling stated that law firms could bring representative action on behalf of just one individual to potentially win damages for the entire affected population. The action against Equifax has a total estimated value of £100 million.

Hayes Connor is the data protection advisor to the Communication Workers Union and is currently acting for thousands of claimants with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Yahoo and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

 

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Hayes Connor shortlisted for two Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards for second year in a row

We are delighted to announce that Hayes Connor Solicitors has been shortlisted in two categories for the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards 2020. This is the second year running that our achievements have been recognised by the award panel.

The prestigious awards celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in the modern legal services arena. They also showcase and set the benchmark for best practice in the ever diverse, challenging and exciting legal landscape.

In the 2020 awards, as in 2019, Hayes Connor is on the shortlist for Boutique Law Firm of the Year and Marketing and Communications Strategy. The Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards 2020 will be held at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on 6th February 2020.

Boutique Law Firm of the Year

The boutique law firm of the year category honours firms that specialise in a niche area of law. In our case, data breach and cybercrime. Last year, we were highly commended for our work in this area at the final awards ceremony.

Marketing and Communication Strategy of the Year

The Marketing and Communication Strategy of the Year class looks at firms which have shown exceptional originality and innovative thinking in this area.

A very busy year ay Hayes Connor

Commenting on the honour, our MD Kingsley Hayes said:

“The Hayes Connor team is committed to exceeding client expectations, so we are delighted to be recognised once again by the Modern Law Awards’ panel of industry experts.”

This award shortlisting recognises a very busy year ay Hayes Connor. Over the past 12 months, our firm has rapidly grown from six to 15 employees as we actively pursue a number of global organisations who have failed in their data protection obligations.

Appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union, we are also currently acting for thousands of claimants with data breach action against the likes of Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone, Yahoo, OnePlus and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Find out more about our firm. 

Hayes Connor shortlisted for two Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards for second year running

Data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors has been shortlisted by the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards 2020 for the Boutique Law Firm of the Year (11+ Employees) and Marketing and Communications Strategy categories for the second year running.

The firm, currently representing thousands of clients with multi-party data breach actions including against Ticketmaster, British Airways and Equifax, won the Highly Commended award for Boutique Law Firm of the Year (1-10 Employees) in January 2019.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The team is committed to exceeding client expectations, we are delighted to be recognised once again by the Modern Law Awards’ panel of industry experts. Hayes Connor has rapidly grown in the past 12 months from 6 to 15 employees as we actively pursue a number of global organisations who have failed in their data protection obligations.”

Hayes Connor was the first firm to serve a representative data breach claim in the High Court following the Court of Appeal’s ground-breaking ruling on 2nd October. The action against Equifax has a total estimated value of £100 million.

The firm is appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union and is currently acting for thousands of claimants with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone, Yahoo, OnePlus and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

The Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards 2020 will be held at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on 6th February 2020.

 

 

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British Airways data breach group action gets the go-ahead

British Airways (BA) customers have been given permission to launch compensation claims against the airline following a huge data breach in 2018. At the High Court , Mr Justice Warby granted a group litigation order, paving the way for the group action against BA.

What happened in this case?

Last year, almost half a million British Airways customers had their personal data stolen in series of breaches.

Hackers accessed the BA website and mobile app to steal information including card details, addresses, email addresses and travel arrangements. According to an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), some passengers were taken to a fake website where hackers harvested their details. Also, many customers were forced to change their bank accounts or credit cards.

Earlier this year, the ICO announced its intention to impose a fine of more than £183 million on BA over the breach. The series of hacks, were some of the most severe cyber-attacks in UK history. And they were only possible due to inadequate security arrangements at the airline.

But, while the ICO has the power to impose data breach fines, it does not give this money to victims. That’s why making a compensation claim is so important. Furthermore, we can use the evidence uncovered by the ICO to make a very strong case. So, if your data was put at risk by BA, you should now make a data breach compensation claim.

Join our No Win, No Fee, BA compensation case

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have already started a group action claim against British Airways to help victims of this data breach to secure compensation.

We can help you claim compensation for financial losses, as well as for inconvenience and distress. And, following a recent ruling[1], we can now claim on your behalf even if you haven’t suffered financial or emotional damage as a result. The loss of control of your personal information is sufficient grounds to make a claim.

What is a group action case?

A group action claim is where a group of people – sometimes even thousands of people – have been affected by the same issue. Group action cases are also known as class actions or multi-party actions.

With a group action claim, this group of people (the Claimants) collectively bring their cases to court against a Defendant (in this case, British Airways). These victims then fight together to achieve compensation in the High Court of Justice.

Where cases are very similar, group actions can be a powerful tool and can have a bigger impact than a single claim.

Use a data breach expert for the best chance of success

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we believe that the best way to make big companies pay for their data protection failures is to use a specialist lawyer. Of course, you would expect us to say that – but let us explain why.

We have become a true specialist in data breach law. This is all we do. And, because of this, we have the legal expertise needed to take on big players such as BA, Ticketmaster and Equifax.

In addition to our own legal expertise, we also work with expert barristers to help us win our cases. So, we are confident that our team will get the results you deserve.

Crucially, when it comes to making a compensation claim, a lack of care can leave data breach victims open to advice and representation below the standard expected. And this could see you lose out financially as a result.

Don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve in the BA group action!

Since the data breach, we have been contacted by hundreds of people who were put at risk by BA.

The action that we are taking is still open to you to join. But, as we have already started our group action case, it is vital that you register with us ASAP.

To join our British Airways data breach group action compensation claim, register with us today.

REGISTER NOW


[1] Lloyd v Google

GDPR Weekly Show – Episode 62 – 20th October 2019

Hayes Connor featured on this week’s GDPR podcast with news of our client’s successful data breach claim against his local NHS Trust after it shared confidential details from his medical records without consent (listen from 11 minutes, 13 seconds).

The podcast also features news of the team’s landmark representative action against Equifax worth an estimated £100 million (listen from 28 minutes, 14 seconds).

Hayes Connor issues landmark £100 million data breach claim against Equifax

North West based data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors is the first in the UK to serve a representative data breach claim in the High Court. The action could see Equifax ordered to pay up to £100 million in compensation to its estimated 15 million UK customers affected by its 2017 data breach.

The action follows the Court of Appeal’s decision on the Lloyd v Google case on 2nd October which ruled that a law firm could bring a claim for compensation for just one affected individual following a data breach and be awarded compensation for the entire affected population. Read more

Salisbury Journal, 13th October 2019

We were pleased to secure £1,500 for our client after he discovered that his local NHS Trust had breached his data protection rights. His confidential medical files were accessed and information shared with a third party without his knowledge or consent.

Liverpool Business News, 9th October 2019

Liverpool Business News featured news of Hayes Connor’s £multi-million data breach claim against British Airways following its 2018 data breach.  Affected individuals have a 15 month window to join the group litigation for compensation.

Hayes Connor highly commended in Innovative Marketing award

Data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors was highly commended for its innovative marketing at The Symphony Legal Annual Conference held in Hinckley in September.

The firm was recognised for its client focused approach to marketing with its use of technology to simplify the enquiries process and increase speed of response, alongside its content and PR strategy to raise awareness of consumers’ data protection rights, highly commended. Read more

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 13th September 2019

Kingsley Hayes raised concerns about data protection on mobile phones following news that a serious cyber security risk had been exposed affecting one billion smartphones. The significant gap in security was only identified following an independent third party’s research.