Q&As

Does the GDPR prevent law firms or other professional services providers from charging clients for storing or retrieving their files?

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Published on LexisPSL on 26/10/2018

The following Risk & Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does the GDPR prevent law firms or other professional services providers from charging clients for storing or retrieving their files?
  • Law firms—sector specific guidance
  • Data subject access request

Does the GDPR prevent law firms or other professional services providers from charging clients for storing or retrieving their files?

Law firms—sector specific guidance

Please see Q&A: Can I charge a client for retrieving and or returning their file? This is based on Law Society guidance that clearly anticipates firms can charge clients for file storage and retrieval. We have, therefore, retained the section in Precedent: Terms of business for law firms, that states:

‘If we retrieve your file from storage [(including electronic storage)] in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we will not normally charge for the retrieval.

If we retrieve your file from storage for another reason, we may charge you for:

  1. time spent retrieving the file and producing it to you

  2. reading, correspondence, or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved file; and/or

  3. providing additional copies of any documents

[We will provide you with an electronic copy of the file unless it is inappropriate to do

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