Oliver Sanders and Michael Deacon recently acted for the Home Office in an important misuse of private information and data protection case.

The claims were brought by six individuals following the inadvertent publication online of a spreadsheet containing personal data relating to 1,600 lead applicants in the government’s “family returns process”.

Following a High Court trial in June, Mr Justice Mitting found that all of the claimants were entitled to damages for distress and he gave important guidance on quantum: the judge found that the claimants were in a different position to the victims of deliberate misuses of private information and so could not rely on the awards given in the celebrity phone-hacking litigation; and he also found that they could only claim for rational, justifiable distress.

Oliver and Michael were instructed by the Government Legal Department and Sara Mansoori of Matrix Chambers acted for the claimants, instructed by Tamsin Allen of Bindmans.

For more details, please see the following:

  • The judgment: TLT v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 2217 (QB).
  • The UK Human Rights Blog post on the judgment here.