Subject access requests — High Court judgment

The application was made by Southern Pacific Personal Loans Ltd (SPPLL), a member of the Lehman Brothers group of companies that had gone into voluntary liquidation. The company had used a third-party company to process data relating to the loans it made, which the third party continued to hold. SPPLL had been receiving approximately 88 subject access requests (SARs) per week since liquidation, which were costing it around £40,000 per month to deal with.

The SARs were being made on behalf of former customers with a view to determining whether or not they had a claim to compensation over the mis-selling of PPI. The liquidators applied to the High Court for declaratory relief hoping to be able to refuse future SARs and enable the liquidators to dispose of any data no longer required for the third party’s business purposes.

They argued that the cost of complying with SARs was unfairly reducing the amount available to creditors. A number of interesting points were made in the ruling…

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