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
As Head of the Regulatory Team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart 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 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 Computes 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
Laura Irvine is “…a highly capable practitioner with considerable expertise in handling health and safety investigations and prosecutions, along with other regulatory proceedings” with one client commenting: “She’s sensational, excellent with people and in terms of her subject matter knowledge.”
Laura Irvine is a popular choice for clients needing guidance on data-related regulatory investigations. She advises a range of entities on navigating GDPR, as well as advising on cybersecurity.“She makes a very confusing subject interesting and accessible.”“She is excellent, knowledgeable and gives clear advice.”“She provides advice that is not only accurate but also practical.”
Have the Cookies Crumbled?
Thoughts After Day 1 at the Care Home Gathering with Scottish Care
Brexit, Schrems II and International Data Transfers
Data Protection and Test and Protect: What about the GDPR?
Vicarious Liability and Data Protection
On a Frolic of One’s Own: The Fast-moving Area of Vicarious Liability
Freedom of Information Deadlines Extended
Working from Home, Data Protection and Security Challenges