Law firm provides advice on data in the internet age

A DIGITAL law firm has been established in Yorkshire to provide advice on data storage in the internet age.

DigitalLawUK was created by solicitor Peter Wright after he spotted a “glaring lack of supply” in the market. Mr Wright has launched the firm, which is based in Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre, in partnership with his wife, Heather Anson, who is a US attorney.

It gives advice on digital issues, ranging from data protection and copyright disputes, to social media policies and the Freedom of Information Act.

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Over the next few weeks, Mr Wright is speaking at a number of conferences on topics ranging from cloud computing to the “right to be forgotten” online.

Mr Wright, who is chairman of the Law Society’s Technology and Law Reference Group, said: “It is very different from many other areas of law. You can train someone in buying and selling houses and not much changes in 40 years, but we have to keep up with changes all the time.

“A lot of companies know they have to be careful with data, but don’t really understand all the complexities of the law.

“You can have the IT department saying one thing, HR another, marketing something else and the legal team caught in the middle, and the risks are not taken seriously.

“We can come in and look at it all as a whole and work out exactly what is going on and make sure everything is legally compliant. The alternative can be fines and damage to reputation.”

Mr Wright gained an understanding of the complex laws related to data storage when he was working on a case relating to miners’ diseases. As part of his work on this case, he had to sift through millions of online documents.

DigitalLawUK, which has clients as far afield as Canada, is being given free advice by business support programme Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Council.

The support has included digital marketing and branding, and advice on finance and HR matters.

Over the next 18 months, the firm hopes to have grown to employ around five staff.

Mr Wright said: “Now we have plans to open DigitalLawEU in Brussels and DigitalLawUS in the States, so Barnsley is just the start.”