In today’s “big data” economy, businesses hold enormous amounts of sensitive information, exposing them to reputational risks and litigation if a data breach or cyber-attack occurs. Even the most prepared companies may be at risk, from not only external threats, but also accidental and intentional internal sources.
Recent high-profile incidents demonstrate the potentially devastating financial and reputational effects of a data breach or cyber-attack on an enterprise, its officers, directors, employees and shareholders. These effects often include litigation commenced after a data breach or other cybersecurity incident.
Our lawyers have been at the forefront of litigating, analyzing and teaching privacy law for decades. With privacy litigation expertise in each of our offices, Blakes has the capability to defend multi-jurisdictional privacy class actions and any other cybersecurity-related litigation. Our litigators are backed by the Firm’s broader Cybersecurity practice, a multidisciplinary group of lawyers with significant technology, regulatory, privacy, data protection, media, employment and financial services expertise. We provide our clients with strategic and timely advice about the complex and interrelated legal, technical and compliance aspects of any data security issue.
There has been a marked increase in privacy-related litigation in Canada in recent years, particularly privacy class actions. Our lawyers have multidisciplinary expertise to defend privacy class actions, coordinate efficiently with U.S. and other foreign counsel, and handle related regulatory investigations and other data breach disputes or cybersecurity litigation that may be commenced. We have successfully defended clients in class proceedings brought in multiple jurisdictions alleging unauthorized access to personal information.
Rapid Response and Post-Breach Crisis Management
Our lawyers also offer experienced counsel about data breach response and cybersecurity crisis management. We advise clients about containing and handling the aftermath of a breach, with specific focus on mitigating reputational harm and potential litigation. Working with subject-matter experts within Blakes and other external advisors, we provide advice on the following:
Legally required notice under federal and provincial privacy laws and health privacy legislation
Voluntary notification and disclosure
Conducting internal investigations and managing investigations by law enforcement or regulators
Public relations and media management
Responding to allegations of misuse of data
Management of consumer concerns
Improvement of privacy, data use, breach response policies and procedures, communications, and training