Ian Whitehurst

Call 1994


"He thinks outside the box, is tenacious in court, very experienced and has a good breadth of knowledge of serious white-collar crime."

Chambers and Partners 2019
Photo of Ian Whitehurst

Data Breach and Privacy

Ian Whitehurst has a substantial regulatory and civil practice with a specific emphasis on data breach, privacy and cyber fraud.

He is instructed on a regular basis to advise and represent a wide range of clients, including individuals, directors and companies, in relation to criminal and civil investigations by the industry regulator (the ICO); advisory and compliance issues and the developing area of data litigation in all its forms.

Ian is a leading practitioner in the field of data breach claims for individuals and companies whom have had their personal and sensitive data breached by third parties.

Having developed specialist expertise in “right to be forgotten” claims, Ian was recently instructed to represent a former European politician in a claim against Google.

Ian has put together a team of lawyers and cyber security experts to develop civil fraud claims arising from crypto currencies and other cyber based fraudulent activity. In addition, he is at the forefront of developing models to protect and manage the reputation of leading individuals and corporates.

He has written several articles on data protection and the new digital age and has delivered lectures and video briefings on the subject as well as commenting in the media on recent developments.

Data Breach and Privacy Cases

Ongoing and recent cases include:

  • Re X – instructed to advise company on GDPR compliance concerning new financial services marketing concept.
  • Re Y – instructed to appear in the Information Tribunal on behalf of an interested party concerning disclosure of sensitive commercial material which may adversely affect economic interests of multiple parties to the proceedings.
  • Instructed as Led Junior in group litigation relating to Ticketmaster data breach.
  • Instructed as Led Junior in the group litigation relating to Equifax and British Airways data breach.
  • Currently advising on the Dixons Carphone data breach with a view to instituting group action litigation.
  • Re Z – instructed to represent the Appellant in an appeal in the Information Tribunal concerning a financial services company and their telemarketing compliance.
  • Advised a major financial institution and its in-house legal team in relation to civil enforcement proceedings brought against them by the ICO in relation to purchasing data from a third party without the requisite consent.
  • Instructed to advise and represent a claimant in mediation proceedings in an ongoing data protection dispute with a national broadcaster.
  • Instructed in several High Court actions seeking damages and ancillary relief for numerous individuals against public bodies for breaches of their personal data.
  • Instructed for the claimant in ongoing High Court litigation arising from a fraud committed via insecure IT systems deployed by the claimant’s former legal representatives.
  • Successfully advised a Human Resources company in avoiding a criminal prosecution by the ICO in relation to allegedly purchasing confidential information from an employee of an existing client.
  • Advising a gambling organisation based in Malta on purchasing third party data and compliance with the GDPR.
  • Instructed to represent national figure involved in the criminal justice system concerning breach of his personal data by his former employers.
  • Instructed to represent a solicitor in an action for defamation against the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
  • Instructed to represent a former European politician in a claim for “right to be forgotten” and resulting economic losses against Google.
  • Instructed to represent cardiac surgeon in a claim against his employers for breach of data which led to him being “named and shamed” in the press and adversely impacted upon his professional reputation and standing.
  • Instructed to represent senior executive in dispute with his employers (leading International Bank) concerning their compliance with his data protection rights and the resulting impact upon his terms of employment.
  • Instructed to represent a well-known journalist who was the victim of an international organised crime group who defrauded her of a six-figure sum.
  • Instructed to represent multiple claimants based across the world who have lost in excess of $2million in crypto currency after the crypto exchange was hacked by third parties.

Data Breach and Privacy Publications

Recent publications include:

  • Q&A: European Commission proposes new measures to tackle e-crime
  • Consumer Rights & Slow Running Apple Software
  • Data Breaches, Vicarious Liability of Employers & The Impact  on the Insurance Industry
  • Investigatory Powers Act – will the new oversight regime be effective?
  • Data Privacy & Brexit – deal breaker or opportunity to reboot?
  • Augmented Reality & The Law
  • Enforcement of Corporate Crime: stronger sentencing of people convicted of stealing personal data & the forthcoming general data protection regulation