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Confidentiality Claims Process

In our experience, every data breach involving confidential information at a law firm is different and the appropriate response is also different. We’ve handled law firm data breaches involving everything from Qui Tam actions to trade secrets to public company mergers and acquisitions. The best response to a confidentiality breach really does depend on the type of data disclosed. However, firm’s can minimize loss by using some basic loss control steps and deploying the right resources. The SafeLaw confidentiality breach response team uses a traditional approach to managing breaches and uses both technical and legal resources to help firms minimize loss. Kevin O’Hagan from O’Hagan Meyer leads the SafeLaw confidentiality breach response team. A summary of our methodology for responding to confidentiality breaches is as follows:

Investigate Breach

The SafeLaw confidentiality breach response team includes technical forensics experts from Mandient, Verizon, and Trustwave as well as legal experts in confidentiality breaches such as Baker Hostetler, Cooley LLP, and O’Hagan Meyer. Kevin O’Hagan will deploy the best technical resources to assist clients with technical forensics to determine the source and scope of data breach. We also help the firm contain the breach, preserve evidence, and take steps to reestablish the security and confidentiality of firm data.

Assess Risk

Once the firm has investigated the breach and determined exactly what information was compromised, our legal experts help the firm evaluate the risks associated with the breach and plan an appropriate response. Kevin O’Hagan and his team will advise the firm regulatory risks, contractual obligations, legal liability, and potential brand damage. We will also advise the firm on the best approach to complying with applicable regulations and contractual obligations as well as dealing with the victims and protecting the firm’s interests.

Notify

Data breaches involving confidential information may trigger obligations under one or more state laws as well as contractual requirements and professional obligations with the ARDC or State Bar. Our confidentiality breach response team will guide the firm through state and federal regulations, contractual obligations and local ethics rules that may apply to the different types of data that have been compromised. Kevin O’Hagan will work with the firm to draft the victim notice letter(s) and notify the victims in compliance with state law, contractual obligations or ethical requirements.

Remediate Damage

In instances where the disclosed data could result in a waiver of privilege, cause the firm’s clients to suffer financial losses, or significantly impact the firm’s legal professional services for a client, Kevin and his team of legal specialists will help the firm minimize the damage. Depending on the circumstances, we will help prevent further disclosure of the data, reestablish the confidentiality the data, and pursue inadvertent disclosure options with the all parties involved.

Protect Brand

A data breach involving confidential information affects the firm’s reputation and has the potential to severely compromise the firm’s clients as well. Kevin O’Hagan will work coordinate with SafeLaw public relations experts such as Flieshman-Hilliard or Levick to protect the firm’s brand name. We will help the firm establish crisis communications immediately following a confidentiality breach to minimize brand damage. In addition, our confidentiality breach response team will coordinate with public relations experts to design, implement and execute a public relations campaign to help restore the firm’s brand name.

Defend

In some cases, a confidentiality breach may result in professional liability lawsuits, regulatory proceedings, or disciplinary actions brought against the firm. In the event professional liability lawsuits, regulatory actions, or disciplinary actions are brought against the firm, Kevin will recommend 3-5 legal defense lawyers with significant expertise in the type of data disclosed and experience in the type the action brought against the firm.