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Freeths - Law firm

Data Theft & Protection

Protecting your company data

What is involved?

A company’s trade secrets, customer database and financial information are often the most valuable assets of a company. Despite this, their importance and protection are overlooked by companies focused on the challenges of day-to-day trading. Misappropriation of data and misuse can occur for many reasons and from a number of sources. This may provide competitors, disgruntled ex-employees or criminals with significant and unfair commercial advantages.

Our team has over 20 years’ experience advising clients following the theft of company data, from straightforward cases of hard copy company records to the transfer of confidential documents onto USBs or theft via cloud storage/mobile devices. We also bring and defend claims where confidential information has been misused; where parties have entered into Non Disclosure Agreements.

With the expansion and reliance on technology, data theft and misuse of data have been areas of significant growth in the last 5 years and one in which Freeths has an excellent track record of recovery for its clients. Freeths will guide you through every step of the way, utilising our sector specific knowledge and in-depth understanding of both the legal remedies (including search orders, application for pre-action disclosure, delivery up and freezing orders), and the more practical steps to take to recover your confidential data, and achieve financial redress for the theft.

We also provide advice to clients to stop data theft occurring in the first place. This can include ensuring employers have the appropriate protection in their employment contracts, Non Disclosure Agreements and company policies, to running workshops with clients to understand what specific areas of their business may be at risk.

Why Choose Freeths?

  • As “business people first and lawyers second” we understand your point of view
  • We pride ourselves on settling disputes as quickly as possible and keeping them out of court through negotiation and alternative dispute resolution
  • We have strategic partnerships with a range of professional services such as forensic accountants, private investigators and IT specialists which can be tailored to the specific needs of each case
  • In a lot of data theft cases there is a requirement to act quickly and decisively. We won’t sit on the fence and will advise you of the best course of action to take, as well as the associated risks

The Freeths team has wide ranging experience acting for companies who have been the victim of data theft. We make a virtue of having an experienced partner handle your matter, who will be available to discuss any issue you might have when needed, with closely supervised assistance from more junior solicitors and project managers to keep costs down.

What can we provide?


  • Post termination restrictive covenants
  • Email/Internet/IT/Social Media policies
  • Database policies
  • Enforceable Terms and Conditions
  • Advice prior to employees being terminated
  • Employee training


  • Advice prior to issuing proceedings to resolve the dispute – including requesting detailed undertakings and obtaining costs protection
  • Obtaining without and on notice, Search Orders, Pre-Action Disclosure, Orders for Delivery Up, Orders for Computers to be imaged and asset Freezing Orders
  • Enforcing restrictive covenants/Non Disclosure Agreements/breach of contract/breach of confidence

Key contacts

James Hartley

James Hartley
Partner & National Head of Dispute Resolution

0345 077 9581

Alternatively complete the form below:

Contact Us

Meet the team

Data Theft & Protection Lawyers

National Head of Team

James Hartley

James Hartley

0345 077 9581

James Hartley

James Hartley

0345 077 9581

Nick Sutton

0345 077 9567

Caroline Watson

0345 030 5789

Ciaran Dearden

0114 263 9438

Related news
More related news, articles and events for Data Theft & Protection
Notable Work
  • We advised a company following the theft of its customer database which was sold by a former employee to a third party. Post termination undertakings were obtained following forensic investigation of both company and personal computers. A claim for damages was brought following breach of the undertakings to recover the costs of the company.
  • We successfully pursued a former Managing Director for breach of covenants/fiduciary duties. A damages claim was issued arising out of a conspiracy between former employees and a new employer to use confidential and commercially sensitive product and price information. A prohibitory injunction was obtained which lead to an application to commit three defendants for breaching the terms of the injunction. Suspended custodial sentence was obtained as well as the client’s costs of the action.
  • In a similar case, we obtained a Search and Seize order and attended at a Director’s home address to search for useful documentation and computer records. We successfully recovered evidence to show that the Director was intending to move to a competitor and take customer contracts with him. As a result our client was able to prevent this conduct and secure the customer relationship.
  • We pursued a client’s competitor who had unlawfully obtained pricing information and was sharing it on social media platforms. We obtained the removal of the posts from the social media platform and were able to get the competitor to issue a clarification.
  • We acted for an international resource company in connection with a multimillion pound damages claim arising from the infringement of database rights following the theft of confidential data by a former employee.

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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