Who? Adnan Malik, head of data breach, Barings Law, Manchester.
Why is he in the news? The firm has signed up almost 2,000 claimants to a class action against Capita over two data breaches that the outsourcing business experienced this year which Barings Law says put thousands of people’s data at risk.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Working on this case has been an interesting experience and the demographic of those affected varies considerably. Dealing with thousands of people as part of a class action presents a unique challenge as every claimant has a different story and there is no one way to approach this. Capita is in possession of what many would see as being a treasure trove of data and should have been aware of its responsibility in protecting it. Some claimants are fearful that their pensions are now at risk of being exfiltrated. Organisations which have public service contracts worth millions also have a duty to ensure they have robust systems in place to protect personal information.’
A Capita spokeperson said: ‘Capita treats cybersecurity with the utmost seriousness. The company has invested in a multi-year, multi-million-pound cybersecurity programme which has been accelerated in the wake of March’s cyber incident. Capita strongly rejects any suggestion that there is any valid basis for bringing claims against it as a result of the incident.’
Dealing with the media: ‘The role of the press is important because it helps create awareness of issues that people might otherwise not know about. Dealing with journalists is not necessarily a natural trait for many lawyers but, having worked on high-profile cases, I have become more accustomed to it and understand the importance of keeping the public informed. As a fraternity, we can all play our part in engaging with the press positively by bringing attention to the failures of those who have breached their responsibility, while also acquiring justice for victims.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘Several reasons. One that has stayed with me, however, is seeing the struggles of my father. He encountered issues which could have been resolved with contractual terms between both parties in place. Due to the lack of legal representation and correct advice, he was ultimately worse off. Part of the reason why I entered the legal profession was to prevent others from suffering the same fate.’
Career high: ‘Graduating with a law degree was the first step towards my dream of qualifying as a solicitor and is a day I will always cherish.’
Career low: ‘I was instructed on an immigration case many years ago where the sponsor was severely disabled and required constant care. Despite my best efforts, the case was refused by the visa officer due to a number of reasons out of my control. Had the visa been granted, this person’s quality of life would have improved significantly.’