Mr Matthew McConville, the Head of our specialised and Data Breach Department at Irvings Law has successfully represented the H Family (whom wish to remain anonymous for the purposes of this blog) in their data breach compensation claim against Brighton Family Court after they disclosed the adoptive parents’ names and the involved child’s amended name with to her dangerous birth parents.
In July 2019, child H was placed with Mr & Mrs H for adoption and the ultimate adoption hearing took place in December 2019. As part of this final process, child H took Mr & Mrs H’s surname for her anonymity so as to prevent and protect her from easily being located by her birth parents. Child H was also changed as her previous one was unusual and thus would make it easier for the birth parents to locate her.
Once the Adoption Order was granted in the Family Court at Sussex-Brighton, the said Court sent a copy to Mr & Mrs H and this included their names and child H’s new name. Unfortunately, the Court also sent a copy to child H’s birth parents. The Local Authority realised the Court’s error and alerted them immediately which resulted in them apologising for what happened and reviewing their processes to see where they can be improved to prevent this happening in the future.
When the H family found out about this, they approached specialist Data Protection Solicitor, Mr McConville and without hesitation no win, no fee terms were offered. Once instructed, Mr McConville lodged a formal Letter of Claim to the Government Legal Department whom act on behalf of the Courts in England and Wales and alleged that the involved Court had breached / invaded Mrs C’s privacy under the Human Rights Act, had breached the Data Protection Act 2018 / the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as confidence following their misuse of private information pertaining to the H family.
Upon receipt of this, the Government Legal Department accepted liability and made an offer to settle each presented claim but the impact of such a claim was not so considered by them as much as Mr McConville wanted them to understand. After many lengthy negotiations, the H family settled their claim collectively in a sum in excess of £50,000.00 in total.