HOME > Case Studies >


Mr Matthew McConville, Head of Irvings Law’s specialist Actions Against the Police and Data Breach Departments, has successfully represented a client in a claim for compensation against Lancashire Constabulary but due to confidentiality, the client will be referred to as Mr H.

Mr H’s father reported a potential personal data breach relating to Mr H following his medical information being shared with a third party via their Subject Access Request to Lancashire Constabulary. To support such a report, Mr H’s father provided the documentation in question to Lancashire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department for investigation. In response to the same, Lancashire Constabulary’s Data Protection Office confirmed that there was a personal data breach relating to Mr H after documentation relating to him was ‘provided to a third party unlawfully’. To explain such an error, Lancashire Constabulary’s Data Protection Manager within their said Data Protection Office stated that this was ‘due to human error owing to the close proximity of the dates’ upon which Subject Access Requests were received. The said Data Protection Manager added that the said ‘documents were saved in error in the file of the third party which resulted in them being inadvertently included in the material supplied to the third party in their disclosure’ and ‘it is accepted that there has been a failure to comply’ with procedures. Further, procedures have been ‘reiterated’ to those dealing with Subject Access Requests and this ‘personal data breach falls short of standards’ before then a sincere apology was provided to Mr H for what had happened.


Given the above, Mr H approached specialist Actions Against the Police and Data Breach Solicitors, Irvings Law, for assistance. Mr McConville immediately acknowledged that what had happened was completely wrong and without hesitation, offered to act for Mr H by way of “no win, no fee” presenting a claim to Lancashire Constabulary for a human rights infringement, a data protection breach, a breach of confidence as well as misuse of private information.


In response to the claim, Lancashire Constabulary’s legal department bizarrely refused to accept that Mr H was entitled to compensation. Knowing that this Defence to such a claim was weak, Mr McConville advised Mr H to issue and serve Court proceedings as well as make an Application for disclosure of what was sent in error to the involved third party as Lancashire Constabulary strangely refused to provide the same to Mr H after his reasonable request. After this and a day before a Court hearing regarding the disclosure that had been requested, Lancashire Constabulary accepted a previous offer made by Mr H to settle his claim in the sum of £2,500.00 plus the payment of his legal costs.

Author: Matthew McConville