Are your Barristers’ Chambers Secure and GDPR Compliant? Is your printer a major GDPR security risk?

Non-compliance of GDPR is very serious and could result in a potential fine of up to Euros 20 million or 4% of turnover.[1]  Barristers are trusted by their clients to keep their information safe and secure. With access to sensitive information, data protection should always be prioritised.

There are many scenarios in which a multifunctional printer or copier, could be the most dangerous piece of equipment in your office:

  • When upgrading an old machine, unless thoroughly wiped of all information, the purchaser could have access to all your data from the hard disk
  • Vulnerability from the software for a cyberattack; phishing, DDoS or ransomware
  • Breach of GDPR if information is not secure resulting in sensitive and personal information being stolen, shared or bought by unscrupulous third parties.

A senior barrister was fined by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for not keeping information secure. With respect to this case Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO stated: “People put their trust in lawyers to look after their data – that trust is hard won and easily lost.”[2]

To avoid non-compliance, crippling fines and recriminations, it is always recommended to work through this recommended checklist:

  • Appoint a ‘controller’ to make the important decisions regarding processing activities with full understanding of GDPR compliance
  • Data Breaches. Conduct regular risk assessments with respect to the retention of information:

1, How information is held

2, Individual rights

3, Detection of data breaches and subsequent reporting

4, Management of consent

5, Parental consent of children’s information

6, The processing of personal data

7, Data protection and with consideration for international regulations.

  • A ‘processor’ to perform the data processing. They also have many obligations under GDPR jurisdiction
  • Printers and multi-functional printers (MFPs) must be absolutely secure
  • Secure access to printed documentation? For maximised security, it is recommended to have a unique ID, username with a correlated password or pin, scan of an ID card/ badge or event integration of biometric hardware
  • Review of your secure print management solution
  • End-to-end encryption on your network to ensure security from the user’s device to the print server – print server to the printer – printers to the users’ hands. Therefore, protection at every stage of the process
  • User authentication. Sometimes a barristers’ chamber may represent both the prosecution and defence. Facilities to ensure the correct documentation is only accessed by the correct user and in order to protect the clients and the chambers
  • To have legal practice management software incorporated within the system
  • Ability to track all printing for both security and for ease of client invoicing
  • Facility to select specific jobs to release or delete
  • It is worth noting that all documentation is time sensitive.[3]

If you feel that on any level, you could be potentially compromised or risk a penalty or fine, it is prudent to be proactive and address, before a situation arises that could compromise your chambers upon multiple levels.

GDPR is an extremely complex directive.  All barristers and their clerks aspire to the highest levels of client protection and security. Printer and MFPs are an essential part of office technology yet with their added sophistication of service and multiple purposes, it is essential to equally match function with heightened security. It is also important to use suppliers who can recommend devices and software practical for barristers’ chambers and which ensure  GDPR compliance.

Barristers and solicitors hold very sensitive information about their clients including personal information, whether it be financial, medical, professional and certainly personal details such as address, email details and telephone numbers.

It is the barristers’ responsibility to protect both themselves, the chambers and their clients whilst ensuring that output is maximised, secure and efficient; especially when under immense pressure producing voluminous and urgent court files or any other important documentation.

UTL – Document Solutions

Barristers’ Chambers are always – HIGH PRIORITY.

A select team are permanently based at barristers’ chambers.

Do your chambers need improved print security?

Would your chambers benefit from a risk assessment of potential security hazards?

Are your current photocopiers and MFPs equipped with the most secure software? 

If so, please contact a senior member of the UTL Group,

Barristers’ Chambers Support Department – Tel: 08000 43 42 41





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