Concerns that solicitors are still unprepared for the GDPR

13 December, 2017

Following the publication of recent research, concerns have been raised that many solicitors and law firms might not be fully prepared for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May next year.

This is despite the fact that the new legislation – which will effectively replace the existing Data Protection Act from May 2018 – will introduce tough new penalties for organisations that are non-compliant, or those that fail to introduce the necessary safeguards and processes to protect client and consumer data from being misused or stolen.

Naturally, the new legislation will have a significant impact on the ways in which client-led businesses – such as law firms – acquire, store, use and protect information about the individuals they work with.

A recent survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across multiple sectors found a “mixed bag” in terms of whether or not firms had begun their preparations for the new laws ahead of time.

While around half of those quizzed said they had sought expert guidance, the study also found that four in ten respondents were ‘concerned’ about their ability to handle and use data in accordance with the GDPR – while a further two in five respondents had failed to begin any preparations whatsoever.

Meanwhile, a separate study – this time solely probing the legal sector – recently found that three in four law firms are ‘unprepared’ for the new legislation, while one in five had experienced at least one cyber-attack or data breach within the past month.

For more information about the tax and financial services Watson Buckle can provide to clients in the legal sector, please contact us.

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