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Loss adjustor Woodgate and Clark faces record fines | Insurance Business


After handing down multiple guilty verdicts, Maidstone Crown Court has now sentenced loss adjuster firm Woodgate and Clark Ltd and others to hefty fines for violating the Data Protection Act 1998.   

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), whose investigation began in 2013, said the sentences were the highest ever imposed for the offences committed by the company and two of its senior staff, as well as private investigators. The case involved a man who had made an insurance claim for a fire at his Lancashire business premises.

According to ICO, illegally obtained confidential financial information – such as the policyholder’s banking transactions details – was passed on by private investigators to Woodgate and Clark, which then disclosed it to an insurer client.

Here are the convictions and corresponding penalties: 

  • Woodgate and Clark – two counts of unlawfully disclosing personal data; £50,000 fine plus £20,000 costs.
  • Firm’s director Michael Woodgate – one charge of unlawfully obtaining personal data and two counts of unlawfully disclosing personal data; £75,000 fine plus £20,000 costs.
  • Senior loss adjuster Colum Tudball – two charges of unlawfully obtaining personal data; £30,000 fine plus £20,000 costs.
  • Private investigator Daniel Summers – two charges of unlawfully obtaining personal data and two counts of unlawfully disclosing personal data; £20,000 fine plus £20,000 costs.
  • Private investigator Adam John Spears – two charges of unlawfully obtaining personal data and two counts of unlawfully disclosing personal data; £10,000 fine plus £2,500 costs.

“The illegal trade in personal information is not only a criminal offence but a serious erosion of the privacy rights of UK citizens,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “As well as these record fines, the organisations and individuals involved also face serious reputational damage as a result of being prosecuted by the ICO.”

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