Gibson & Associates LLP is excited to introduce Julie Shanley as the newest member of our Independent Consultant Solicitors team. With a wealth of experience spanning three decades, Julie brings an in-depth perspective to our firm.
Julie is not just a litigator; she’s a problem solver. She is renowned as a litigation specialist, focusing on medical negligence and personal injury. Her dedication to excellence and her extensive background make her an invaluable asset to the team of Consultation Solicitors at Gibson & Associates LLP.
Julie’s journey began in the midst of the bustling midland practice, John J Quinn & Company, where she cultivated a resilience that defines her approach to this day. Since then, her career has been a testament to her commitment to delivering real, tangible results for her clients.
In the realm of medical negligence and personal injury, Julie has not only navigated the complexities of the law but has consistently secured outcomes that matter. Her dedication to excellence is not a mere platitude – it’s evident in the positive impacts she has had on the lives of those she has represented.
Moving into private practice, Julie’s time at Terence Lyons & Company and Haughton Solicitors showcased her diverse expertise in litigation, probate, and family law. Her brief but impactful experience at Messrs. Larkin Tynan in Mullingar opened her eyes to the broader spectrum of general practice, where she continued to excel.
Julie’s client-centric approach is more than a slogan, it perfectly aligns with the ethos of Gibson & Associates LLP.
We look forward to the positive impact Julie will undoubtedly bring to our clients and the firm as a whole. We are pleased to welcome Julie Shanley to the Consultant Solicitors team.
For more information on this article or to learn more about the Independent Consultant Solicitor program, please contact.
Electric Ireland data breach On 9 November 2023, Electric Ireland announced that some 8000 of its customers had been affected by a data breach, leaving them open to potential fraud. If you were among the customers affected by the data breach, we can provide you with specialist advice about what to do next.
Electric Ireland said the employee of a company working on its behalf could have inappropriately accessed the personal and financial details of its customers, which could lead to the misuse of their data.
The company said it had written to affected customers with instructions about what to do next and to contact them directly if they had been victims of fraud.
It confirmed the breach is being investigated, and An Garda Síochána and the Data Protection Commissioner are involved.
While Electric Ireland works to address the breach, its customers now carry the burden and anxiety of having to safeguard their accounts, with some having to deal with the impact of fraud.
What does the law say about a data breach?
The law is very specific about the use of your personal and sensitive data. It says when an organisation collects and uses your data, that it has a legal duty of care to protect it. Furthermore, it can only use your data for the purposes for which you have given permission.
The law governing data use and protection is called the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). It applies throughout the European Union and is the strictest privacy and security law in the world.
Under the GDPR, organisations have strict obligations when collecting, storing and using your personal data and must ensure it remains accurate, current, and is being used solely for the reason you specified. If not, the organisation is compelled by law to delete your data.
Another important aspect of the GDPR is that the data must be made available to you when you request it.
In the event of a data breach of your personal information, the organisation must notify you within 72 hours.
There are severe penalties for organisations who do not comply with the GDPR. The most serious breaches can expose an organisation to a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of a firm’s annual revenue from the preceding year, depending on what is higher.
You can find out more about the GDPR at the Citizens Information website.
Do I need data protection?
If you have been notified that your data has been involved in a breach, you should first find out what data has been compromised.
Then you can take steps to secure your online personal and financial accounts and advise the relevant organisations (such as your bank or the Department of Social Protection) of the breach.
Data breaches can be extremely stressful and affect a number of areas of your life. Depending on how your data has been misused, there is the potential for fraud, financial loss, and a whole host of troubling emotions, including anxiety, embarrassment, and anger.
The GDPR outlines your rights in the event of a data breach and provides a pathway for you to help recover the cost of any financial damage and emotional anguish you have experienced.
If you have been affected by the Electric Ireland data breach, we can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety you might feel.
We are specialists in data protection law and the GDPR and can advise you about your rights and how to handle a data breach that has resulted in you falling victim to fraud.
Talk to a member of our team who understands what you’re going through.
Call us now at 01 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry Form for expert advice and legal support you can count on.
HSE Data Breach: HSE to notify over 100,000 people after 18 months that they have been targets of a Cyber AttackSome 18 months after the HSE data was breache, HSE has only recently started to contact the 100,000 people who were targets of the cyber attack and had their data stolen.
What is the effect of HSE data breach?
Since dealing with data breach claims, we have seen first-hand the effects of lost or stolen data. It often takes several months for the full impact of a data breach to become apparent. However, nearly 18 months since the HSE data was breached, the affected parties who may suffer financial losses and emotional damage is only now being communicated too.
It is possible that the HSE has known for a long time that an individual’s personal data was compromised by Russian hackers, but they are giving themselves until April 2023 to notify the individuals. In order to prevent future unauthorised use of individuals’ personal information, the HSE is taking every
step necessary to minimise the impact of this HSE data breach. It certainly stretches the common understanding of the word “undue delay”.
During the launch of European Cyber Security Month, Justice Minister and junior minister with special responsibility for eGovernment Ossian Smyth raised the issue about HSE data breach. One of the personnel responsible for damage control of HSE data breach was addressed at the National Cyber Security Centre. On May 20th, 2021, HSE obtained a High Court order for restraining any processing, selling or sharing of stolen data, and the order still remains in place to date.
HSE Response: “Our cyber security experts are continuing to monitor the internet and the dark web for illegally accessed information. They are looking for any signs of it being published or used and we will act immediately if they see any evidence of this.”
According to national media over 94,000 patients and HSE service users and 18,200 members of the staff will be contacted to communicate about the data breach to the affected parties. Taking into account the case of health services of Mercy Hospital in Cork who informed people of bare facts that their data was leaked onto the dark web in a matter of weeks after the cyber attack, that brings up the question of what is taking HSE so long?
According to Irish Times on HSE data breach, the child and family agency TUSLA, also previously indicated about their data being stolen, and if that so then the number of entities that are affected by this cyber attack could be even higher.
WHAT IS “GDPR”?
In today’s world HSE is obliged to ” communicate about personal data breach to the affected parties with undue delay” (Article 34 GDPR)
GDPR is a regulation in EU law for data protection and privacy in the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation is an important component to protect and uphold the EU privacy law, data protection laws and human rights law.
In simpler terms, GDPR provides a legal framework for keeping your and everyone’s personal data private and safeguard it from being stolen or gathered without consent. GDPR requires companies to have robust processes, systems and firewalls for handling and storing personal information.
What do I do if I received a letter from HSE that my data was breached?
It is advisable to seek legal advice on your rights under the GDPR legislation, and to understand the implications this breach may have on you and your family. Our expert team of solicitors has successfully provided compensation for clients who suffered a data breach. Fill out the form below for a free consultation with no obligation.
What exactly is a data breach?
In 2017, it was officially announced data to be considered the world’s most valuable commodity, even surpassing oil. In today’s time it is considered to be the peak of social media and technology, where data breaches have become an increasingly discussed topic in the news, but what exactly does data breach mean?
In a data breach, sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, sold, or used by an unauthorised party. There are several types of data breaches, such as sending your medical records to the wrong person, which results in stress and embarrassment, or criminals gaining access to your online information and using it for fraud, and causing you financial loss.
Your data has value, and after a breach, you may receive hundreds of junk and spam mail that can be frustrating and stressful.
How can I find out if I have suffered a data breach?
By law, any company that has suffered a data breach and is aware of the breach where your sensitive information/data has been compromised is required to write to you and inform you that they have breached your data. If the company is public then the ICO will report the breach on their website too.
What is the effect of a data breach?
Since dealing with data breach claims, we have seen first-hand the effects of lost or stolen data. It often takes several months for the full impact of a data breach to become apparent, with financial losses following three to six months after the data breach.
WHAT IS “GDPR”?
GDPR is a regulation in EU law for data protection and privacy in the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation is an important component to protect and uphold the EU privacy law, data protection laws and human rights law.
In simpler terms, GDPR provides a legal framework for keeping yours and everyone’s personal data private and safeguard it from being stolen or gathered without consent. GDPR requires companies to have robust processes and systems with impenetrable firewalls for handling and storing personal information.
Types of data breach claims
Not sure if you have suffered a data breach? There are a range of data loss scenarios, for which you can claim compensation, including:
Inadvertent or deliberate loss, hacking or leaking of your data
Sale or leak to a third party without your permission
Misuse of your data not in line with what you agreed to when you shared your data
Leak of data due to a business company data leak
Stolen identity to create new documents e.g. credit cards
Have you suffered a breach in one of these areas?
9 KEY WARNINGS TO KNOW IF YOUR DATA HAS BEEN BREACHED!
Privacy and Data breaches occur nearly on a daily basis, and if you aren’t keeping up with the latest news in the tech world, you might be the next victim. Here are some key ways to identify the threat in order to protect your data from being stolen, breached or deleted.
You get a ransomware E-mail/Message for an access requests from an unknown
You get a fake antivirus message about your data security or pop-ups that says “require your immediate attention”
You see random spam pop-ups asking for your social security numbers
You have unwanted browser tools or plug-ins
Your internet searches are redirected to a shady webpage
Your friends/colleagues receive an invitation email from you that you have not sent
Your get an unknown message to send account details to prevent it from being breached
Antimalware, Task Manager or Registry Editor is disabled
You observe unwanted software being installed on your device
HERE IS WHAT YOU MUST DO AGAINST CYBER CRIMINALS!
Stay up to date: The landscape of cyber threat is constantly growing, so it is very important that your organisation grows as well and take precautions in order to protect and safeguard personal data. And you must take measures as well by making sure your passwords are complex and change after a few months to prevent data theft. You must also have up-to-date antivirus to protect your personal data from being breached or used for other purposes.
Consider additional protection: You can install anti-virus software, firewall and anti-spyware to protect your personal data from being leaked. And if you believe you have fallen victim to a cyberattack, you may want to consider consulting to data protection and breach legal services to help you exercise your legal rights, that can get you the right compensation for your loss and best possible outcome. At Gibson and Associates, our experts are ready to evaluate your cyber vulnerabilities and provide you with appropriate legal advice and services to help you recover from your cyber attack by suggesting the best possible outcomes.
What Does it Means If A Company Files for Insolvency?
If a company files for insolvency, it means it cannot pay its debts and wishes to take action to rectify the situation. This can be done by filing for liquidation or examinership. The right option depends on the company’s circumstances, such as whether it wishes to carry on trading, or whether it is time to ‘wind up’ operations.
Companies that are facing insolvency require immediate legal advice from a commercial insolvency and bankruptcy solicitor. To discuss your options with a specialist lawyer, please contact us at Gibson & Associates.
What is company insolvency?
A company is deemed insolvent if it cannot pay its debts when they fall due. If you think your company is insolvent, or is soon to be insolvent, you must take action straightaway. Ask yourself – can the company pay its debts? If the answer is no, or you’re not sure, speak to your accountant or financial advisor.
If your accountant or financial advisor confirms that the company is insolvent, it is better be proactive. If you act fast enough, you may be able to save the company and continue trading. Even if this is not possible, you can retain greater control over the situation, potentially avoiding involuntary liquidation.
What are the options for an insolvent company?
A company that cannot pay its debts does not ‘file for insolvency’. This is a misnomer. Rather, it is insolvent, in that it does not have sufficient funds to pay its creditors. It must then decide whether to file for:
1. Liquidation, or
These are the main options available to an insolvent company. The best approach will depend on the extent of the company’s debt, the wishes of the directors, and whether the creditors take action to recover their money.
If an insolvent company does not file for liquidation or examinership, it may go into receivership.
Liquidation is the ‘winding up’ of the company. The company’s assets are sold off and the proceeds used to pay creditors. The business then comes to an end and ceases trading.
There are two types of liquidation: voluntary liquidation and involuntary liquidation.
Voluntary liquidation is when the company directors and creditors work together to liquidate the company. If the company is insolvent, then this type of liquidation is known more specifically as Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL). There will be a series of meetings, during which the creditors and directors will make the decision to proceed with liquidation, and appoint a liquidator.
If the company is not yet insolvent, it will be possible to proceed with Member’s Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) instead. This is when the directors and shareholders take the decision to wind up a company, while it still has sufficient funds to pay creditors. Once the debts have been paid off, any remaining assets can be split as the directors see fit. This allows the directors to retain control of the liquidation process, without the involvement of the creditors.
If a company does not file for insolvency itself, then a creditor may petition for the company to be liquidated instead. If the court agrees that a company cannot pay its debts, a liquidator will be appointed to manage the official liquidation process. The court will make this decision if:
• A company has been served a demand to repay a sum exceeding €1,250 and this demand has not been met within three weeks
• A court order has been issued in respect of the debt but it remains unpaid
• The court is satisfied that the company cannot pay its debts
The court may also order the liquidation of a company if it is just and equitable to do so.
The role of the liquidator
When a liquidator is appointed – whether by a voluntary or involuntary arrangement – the liquidator will take control of the company’s assets. The liquidator will then identify the company’s creditors and decide how best to use the remaining assets to repay them. The law places creditors into an order of priority, depending on factors such as whether the debt is secured or unsecured. This determines which creditors should be paid first.
Once the liquidator has fulfilled their duties, the company will be dissolved.
Examinership is when the court protects an insolvent company from its creditors for a set period of time, giving it space to get the business back on track.
Examinership is only possible if an independent accountant believes that the company has a ‘reasonable prospect’ of survival. In effect, it means that while the company is insolvent now, it may be possible to restructure the business so that it becomes solvent once again. This would prevent the company from going under, reduce creditor balances and allow the company to continue trading.
To get examinership, an application must be made by the court. Often, this is made by the company directors, although it may also be made by a creditor. If the court believes that the company meets the qualifying criteria, and agrees that examinership is suitable, then an examiner will be appointed to work with the company. The eligibility criteria for examinership are that the company:
• Is insolvent
• Cannot pay its debts
• Has a reasonable prospect of survival
How does examinership work?
If an examinership petition is approved, the court will protect the company from its lenders for a set amount of time, up to a maximum of 100 days. During this period, the creditors cannot take action against the company.
The court-appointed examiner will then inspect the company’s finances and formulate a strategy for its survival. This might include restructuring the company, securing investment, and preparing a ‘scheme of arrangement’ which outlines how creditors’ debts are to be paid. The examiner’s proposals must be agreed by the court and (where applicable) the creditors. If the court confirms the examiner’s proposals, they become binding.
Advantages of examinership
Examinership offers a company the chance to return from the brink of collapse. Lots of businesses fall on hard times, perhaps due to difficult market conditions or an unforeseen crisis. However, that is not to say that the company cannot recover in the long-run. But without examinership, most companies do not have the breathing space in which to execute a survival strategy, as their creditors are quick to petition for involuntary liquidation. This denies the company the opportunity to salvage the situation.
If a company does not take action to manage its debt, it faces the threat of receivership. This is when a creditor seeks to recover their money, as per the original contract.
The creditor will appoint a receiver, either through the courts or by agreement. The receiver can then take control of the company’s assets, with the aim of recovering the outstanding debt.
If a company is insolvent, this may lead to liquidation proceedings. Even if the company is not insolvent, the unexpected repayment of a large debt may throw the company into turmoil, making it impossible to continue trading.
When a receiver is appointed, the company may be able to overturn the appointment by applying for an examinership. There is a very small window of opportunity in which to achieve this, so immediate legal advice is essential.
What should an insolvent company do?
A company does not ‘file’ for insolvency. It either can pay its debts, or it cannot. In this sense, a company is either solvent or insolvent.
If your company has reached insolvency status, or it is soon to be insolvent, you should not bury your head in the sand. By taking early action, you can decide what happens to the company – rather than having your creditors decide for you.
The right option depends on the situation. If your company is yet to become insolvent, but it does not have a viable future, then it will be preferable to file for Member’s Voluntary Liquidation. On the other hand, if you think a rescue strategy is realistic, you should explore the option of examinership. Or, you may be able to negotiate a debt repayment plan with your creditors. This should work to repay the debt, while at the same time keeping your business intact.
If you fail to take action, you could face receivership and/or involuntary liquidation. This can lead to additional consequences for the directors of the company, who may be held personally liable if a company is found to be trading while insolvent.
Directors’ duties during insolvency
The director of a company has various fiduciary and statutory duties. These place certain responsibilities on a director whose company is facing insolvency, one of which is not to engage in reckless trading. Reckless trading is when:
• A director ought to know that the action of the company will cause loss to a creditor, or
• A director was party to contracting a new company debt, which he/she did not honestly believe would be repaid when the debt was due
If a director is found guilty of reckless trading, he/she can be made personally liable for all or part of the company’s debts. This means that as a director, your personal assets are at risk if you fail to manage an insolvency situation correctly.
Business bankruptcy lawyers
No company wants to face insolvency. However, it does happen. What it does, it is better to face the problem head-on. There may be a viable solution that enables the repayment of debt, while at the same time rescuing the business. Even if this cannot be achieved and the company is liquidated, you should do so knowing that you have minimised the damage where possible. As a director, this leaves you confident that you have met your fiduciary and statutory duties.
At Gibson & Associates, we understand that corporate insolvency is stressful. We are highly experienced in this area of the law and can explain the options available to you. Once we have a thorough understanding of you and your business, we can devise a bespoke insolvency strategy that protects the interests of all concerned.
Don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.
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