Claire’s experience in-house coupled with her ten plus years’ advising on data privacy matters enables her to identify those key issues facing an organisation and to provide practical, solutions-based advice.
Claire adopts a calm and practical approach, delivering solution-based legal advice to all clients.
She has significant experience in both private practice and in-house, enabling her to adopt a unique perspective on client matters; in recognising commercial drivers, she can tailor and support clients accordingly.
Her experience spans risk management and strategic planning for businesses, as well as commercial arrangements such as standard terms, supply of goods and services, agency and distribution, service contracts for both private and public sectors, in the health and social care, housing, education, charity and sport sectors.
Claire’s key area of expertise is data privacy. She provides high level and detailed advice to all organisations on their obligations under the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, and related privacy legislation such as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and assists in data protection issues that arise on a daily basis. Claire is experienced in providing data breach management support and has successfully liaised with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on behalf of a number of clients.
She is also well versed in risk management; she created and managed a team in-house to manage risk across a group of companies and has worked closely with Data Protection Officers within a variety of sectors to assist them with their compliance programmes.
"Claire Halle-Smith gave me superb advice and assistance as to the process, drafting of all correspondence and the final response and applying relevant exemptions. Claire's support was invaluable and I went on to recommend Wright Hassall to several other societies"
- Successfully avoiding financial penalties and other potential adverse action by the ICO when liaising on clients’ behalf following serious breaches of personal data, including special category data, and pursuant to ICO investigations as to compliance with individuals’ rights such as subject access requests.
- The creation of industry specific networks of organisations to include webinar and multiple detailed face to face training workshops on aspects of data protection such as consent for marketing, lawful processing of children’s data and special category data, individuals rights, data mapping, DPIA and audits, breach management, sub-processor contracts, transfers to third countries and accountability obligations.
- Carrying out full GDPR audits and subsequently creating compliance programmes for a wide variety of clients, from group companies operating across multiple jurisdictions, to small charitable organisations. To include, for example, data asset analysis, policies, procedures, all applicable data protection notices, data sharing agreements (both internal and external), sub-processor contracts, cross-border transfers, marketing consents, advice on DPIAs and accountability requirements.
- Supporting clients in respect of subject access requests involving the review and collation of information, identifying and applying exemptions and liaising with the data subject’s representatives.
"Wright Hassall offer excellent overall performance. They listen to their clients' needs and respond accordingly. They are highly commercial and accurate in everything they do."
Claire joined a multi-national organisation shortly after qualification where she was later appointed Group Commercial Counsel. She subsequently moved to private practice and has spent the last three years at Wright Hassall.
Claire is a keen walker and spends a lot of her time in the Oxfordshire countryside accompanied by as many dogs and/or people as she can muster ... she enjoys skiing and running and spends a lot of her remaining time fundraising for local charities.