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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I suspect I am being setup by my client (I am a part time

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Hi,I suspect I am being setup by my client (I am a part time contractor through my limited company) for breach of personal information.I recently submitted notice on my contract after a family friend of the client was appointed as a contractor effectively in my role.Now I sense he is attempting to manufacture a scenario where he makes a claim that I have mentioned his private affairs relating to his housing/debts which has now got back to his wife and caused him harm and damage.I sense this as he is manoevering quite obviously, by telling me more and more private info relating to his house since handing in my notice and telling me I am the only one he is telling (he says not even my wife knows!), asking me to continue for a few months as leaving would harm the business, and saying he hasn't spoken to his contractor friend since he joined but that he is a historical friend of his wife etc. Thereby creating a situation where I would appear to be in breach.I am concerned as my client is a vengeful man undertaking many legal cases (many of which I have helped him often historically) as he has a close 'high powered' lawyer friend who helps advise him on how to approach these matters to his benefit.He has general lack of confidentiality in his studio and affairs however is very careful never to put anything into writing.What should I do?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
To be clear, I suspect he will say I have mentioned private matters in a private chat with the new contractor (his friend) and that this has now got back to his wife because of me.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

I am not entirely sure what is it you want to ask of me or want to achieve?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. What is my position (legally) and what are my options to deal with this matter?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I need advice on how to handle the matter before it unfolds....

But have you disclosed his personal details to anyone else?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Not knowingly, however as I have said they are long-term friends and he is vengeful after receiving my notice whilst he was on holiday. What should I do to mitigate against any framing of a situation please? What actions should I take etc?

But nothing has happened yet? Did you discuss this in the course of a business or just individual to individual on a private basis?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Individual to individual on a private basis. Nothing has happened yet however there are factors at play that I may be best advised to take action on now - do I accept an extension to my notice period, what should I say in repeated private 1-1 discussions where the client tells me information saying his wife doesn't even know etc? Also I suspect he is trying to frame a scenario with his staff whereby it is suggested I have betrayed their confidence also, in order to validate his stories. If action is taken as some sort of breach, what would be my position and response?

Ok - then you cant be sued. The Data Protection Act 1998 etc does not apply. It makes no difference whether or not you mentioned his private affairs to anyone whilst not in the course of business.

There is nothing he can do as the DPA does not apply in that case.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks. Can I just clarify 'not in the course of business' specifically, as although private discussions outside of the office, both the client and his contractor friend obviously work for the company and would discussions take place in the course of a working day...? And despite DPA would this not be formed in a standard boiler plate confidentiality clause of an contractor agreement etc?

Yes, because its a private matter. Individual to individual. In any event even discussing his married life isnt a breach of the DPA. Its disclosing personal information such as bank accounts, his address etc.

Its not about his marriage state etc. Whether its breach of contract is another matter, but that would usually cover a working relationship, not private matters.
Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks. Even if the private matters regarding property etc form part of the interaction with the other contractor through his company? Sorry to keep asking but just need to be clear of whether a problem. To be clear, for his own personal private matters I can't be sued even if a discussion had taken place?


Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. One last point, is it possible to get in contact again should the matter continue to develop? Appreciate your help.

Sure. Just ask for me here!

All the best. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face at the bottom of the screen, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. It is also an important part of the online process. Thank you in advance and good luck!

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Great, thank you. Have a good weekend!

And you!