Laura is a Solicitor Advocate and a regulatory lawyer with a particular interest and expertise in data protection, data privacy and information law. Laura previously worked as a prosecutor in Scotland.
Laura works in BTO’s Dispute Resolution Team providing contentious advice to clients who finds themselves being investigated by the ICO. Laura was co-counsel in relation to the first, and to date, only successful appeal against an ICO fine for a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. As a result Scottish Borders Council had their fine of £250,000 returned to them.
Laura has also dealt with several claims for compensation arising under the Data Protection Act 1998: both for pursuers and defenders and was involved in both recently reported Scottish cases: Beyts v Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd and Woolley and Woolley v Akbar or Akram.
Therefore Laura is very well placed to advise clients in relation to data and cyber incident involving the loss of personal data, with a financial impact or a distressing impact. She knows how to deal with ICO investigations and compensation claims. She provides pragmatic and practical advice immediately after an incident, throughout an investigation and advocacy until any court proceedings are concluded.
The General Data Protection Regulation will be enforced from 25 May 2018 and organisations have had two years to work towards compliance. Laura is spending a great deal of time educating organisations about the new data protection regime and assisting clients to ensure that they will be in a position to reassure clients, customers, employees and the ICO that they are taking their data protection responsibilities seriously.
Laura has developed a BTO Compliance Audit which allows organisations to understand the new Regulation and to develop the new policies and procedures required to ensure that clients, customers and employees trust them with their personal data.
Laura enjoys providing data protection training and according to the feedback makes an inherently dull subject entertaining. Primarily through the use of Lego!
Laura is on the board of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre due to her expertise in cyber security law.
Recent cases where Laura appeared:
Scottish Borders Council v ICO (client’s £250,000 Monetary Penalty Notice was cancelled by the First Tier Information tribunal)
Carol Rohan Beyts v Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd  SC EDIN 21
Anthony Woolley and Deborah Woolley v Nahid Akbar or Akram  SC EDIN 7
Member of the National Association of Data Protection Officers, the Society of Computers and Law, the Health and Safety Lawyers Association and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.