Dublin based companies were advised at our recent GDPR Breakfast Briefing that they must act now to finalise their GDPR compliance strategies before 25th May 2018.

HOMS Solicitors and Willis Towers Watson hosted the joint GDPR Breakfast Briefing at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, on Tuesday 1st May and the 160 attendees were advised of the steps that needed to be taken to avoid the prospect of data breaches, fines and compensation claims arising. Those in attendance included high level representatives from the public sector, third level educational institutions, large corporate and retail entities, construction companies and financial institutions.

Harry Fehily, Managing Partner of HOMS Solicitors, opened the conference and touched upon the importance for all present of handling clients’ personal data with increasing care. The conference was moderated by Paul O’Brien FSAI FIA, Head of Large Market Clients with Willis Towers Watson. Having addressed the position regarding the Data Protection Bill, Seamus Carroll of the Department of Justice emphasised the enhanced rights that data subjects would enjoy under the GDPR and that GDPR compliance would be an ongoing process given the nature of the digital world we live in.

Michael Murphy, Senior Associate with HOMS Solicitors outlined the ‘what, when and how’ of the GDPR and used the metaphor of personal data being akin to money and that the GDPR obliged companies to act akin to banks when dealing with client funds. He explained the importance of awareness, accountability and auditing and set out the practical steps that would help to achieve GDPR compliance in good time. Michael pointed out that the GDPR presented an opportunity for companies to create a competitive advantage if implemented correctly rather than being a potential crisis.

Finally, Susan Cavanagh, Willis Towers Watson, presented on the importance of cyber insurance as part of an effective GDPR action plan and the advantages of such policies in view of the potentially onerous fines regime.

The event was met with a very positive reception by those in attendance. There was a lively questions and answers session whilst the speakers also fielded queries on a one-to-one basis afterwards. If you would like further details on the presentations delivered, please contact Maria Gleeson in HOMS Solicitors at maria.gleeson@homs.ie or Will Mahony in Willis Towers Watson at will.mahony@WillisTowersWatson.com.