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Laura Irvine | Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Laura Irvine

Managing Partner

LLB (Hons) (Edinburgh); LLM in Human Rights (Strathclyde); MA in Criminology (Keele); Solicitor (Scotland) 2000; Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialist in Freedom of Information and Data Protection

t: 0131 625 9069 e: laura.irvine@dcslegal.com Add Laura to your address book

Chambers Ranked in UK 2024 | Laura Irvine The Legal 500 United Kingdom | Recommended Lawyer 2024 Accredited Specialist | Law Society of Scotland

As Managing Partner, I have the privilege of driving the firm’s strategy and supporting all of our people as they provide our clients with the best legal and professional services possible.

As Head of the Regulatory Team and a Criminal Solicitor Advocate, I represent corporate clients and individuals who find themselves in trouble with the Regulators: whether the police, HSE, SEPA, ICO, Care Inspectorate, Food Standards Scotland, Border Force, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Trading Standards or any of the other government and local government agencies who are increasingly involved in the regulation of all that we do in the work place.

As a former procurator fiscal depute with COPFS, with over 20 years of working throughout the courts of Scotland, I know my way around the criminal justice system and provide my clients with invaluable insight into what to expect from regulators and the Crown.

I am also an experienced data protection and information law specialist, considered one of the most prominent data protection lawyers in Scotland. In 2013 I was part of the only legal team in the UK to have successfully overturned a data breach fine imposed under the Data Protection Act 1998 – see Scottish Borders Council v the Information Commissioner. Since then I have consolidated my knowledge and skills through the introduction of the GDPR. I am also the firm’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer and am certified by the Law Society of Scotland. I use this knowledge when advising on white collar crime matters.

I provide the annual update on Data Protection Law for the Law Society of Scotland and I wrote their Guide to the GDPR which I was asked to update in 2023. I am the convenor of their Privacy Law Sub-Committee and was asked to give evidence to the Public Bill Committee of the UK Parliament on the Data Protection Reform Bill in 2023.

Every year I provide an annual update for CLT Scotland on data protection and separately on cyber security. I regularly provide training for organisations on data protection basics, accountability and marketing compliance and more complex training on processor contracts and international transfers. I am also the co-founder of Protectors of Data Scotland, a MeetUp group of ‘data protection geeks’ which meets regularly to discuss and I sit on the Women in Technology Law Group of the Society for Computers and Law.

I have worked for organisations of all shapes and sizes from international big tech companies to charities in the health and social care sector solving problems for them in a pragmatic and commercially driven way, reflecting the risk appetite of clients.

I provide contentious data protection advice, which may sometime involve the ICO, but as a regulatory lawyer, my practical experience covers a broad range of sectors. I am the lead Partner in supporting our relationship with Scottish Care in which we provide legal advice to care home members across Scotland as part of the Legal Resources Select group.

What others say

Chambers and Partners – UK Guide to the Legal Profession:

Laura Irvine is “a titan of expertise and a well-recognised and most trusted figure.”

“Laura is considered an extension of our team, a trusted and most reliable source of expertise and real-world, applied, business-savvy legal advice.”

“Laura Irvine is approachable and has a great delivery style.”