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Solicitors fined under Data Protection Act

ICO gets litigious on London lawyers

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Two London law firms must pay £815 each after the Information Commissioner sued them for not fulfilling their duties under the Data Protection Act. The two firms had failed to register themselves as processors of personal information.

The Data Protection Act (DPA) demands that organisations who deal with personal information must register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Registration costs £35 per year.

Grier Olubi of Adejobi Solicitors and Robert Bentley of Bentley's Solicitors were fined £300 each and ordered to pay £500 in costs and a victims' surcharge of £15 by Stratford Magistrates' Court.

The ICO said it had told both the lawyers a number of times that they must register, but that the warnings were ignored.

"We contacted Mr Olubi and Mr Bentley on a number of occasions to remind them of their duty under the Act, but they consistently failed to register as data controllers," said Mick Gorrill, assistant commissioner at the ICO. "This prosecution will serve as an important reminder to organisations of their obligation to notify."

"As today's prosecution demonstrates, we stand ready to use our powers to prosecute the small minority of businesses that flout the Data Protection Act," said Gorrill. "It is particularly disappointing that these cases involve solicitors – professionals entrusted with giving legal advice – not complying with the law."

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