020 7242 4986 or  0333 240 0591 London  |  Birmingham  |  Cardiff
Philip Kolvin

Damien Welfare

Called
2001
Telephone
020 7242 4986
Clerk
Sam Collins
CV
Email

Damien specialises in two areas: information law; and local government law, together with powers and decision-making generally in the public sector.

He has over fifteen years' experience in Data Protection, Freedom of Information ('FOI'), and the Environmental Information Regulations ('EIR'). He has advised many local authorities and public bodies, and previously worked in local government for nearly twenty years.

Damien specialises in information law, with over fifteen years' experience in data protection, Freedom of Information ('FOI'), and the Environmental Information Regulations ('EIR').

He has advised extensively on the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR') and the Data Protection Act 2018, and represents clients in FOI/EIR appeals and data protection litigation.

He is the author of Cornerstone on Information Law (Bloomsbury, 2019), a one-volume practical guide to the GDPR, FOI and EIR, a book which "no one who has serious responsibilities for information handling can afford to ignore", according to the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association. 

Damien also specialises in local government law and legislative drafting. He came to the Bar in 2001 following a career over nearly 20 years in local government. He has also worked in central government.

He has contributed to:

He is a member of the Editorial Board of Freedom of Information Journal.

"Personable and technically astute." - Legal 500 2017

"Able to take on large, complex matters with ease; a joy to instruct." Legal 500 2016

"He proved to be an excellent adviser when handling a very high-profile, politically sensitive and complex matter arising under the FOIA. He demonstrated an ability to articulate robust legal argument." Chambers & Partners 2016

"A specialist in local government powers and decision-making processes." Legal 500 2015

Overview

Damien specialises in Information Law, with over fifteen years' experience in Data Protection, Freedom of Information ('FOI'), and the Environmental Information Regulations ('EIR'). He has advised extensively on the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR') and the Data Protection Act 2018, and represents clients in FOI/EIR appeals and data protection litigation.

He is the author of Cornerstone on Information Law (Bloomsbury, 2019), a one-volume practical guide to the GDPR, FOI and EIR. 

Data Protection

Damien's recent advice on the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 includes:

  • Interpretation of the 'manifestly unfounded and excessive' exemption in the context of a subject access request (GDPR, Art 12(5))
  • Scope of personal data in the context of financial information
  • Application of diplomatic immunity under the GDPR
  • Data matching, and a Data Protection Impact Assessment, under the GDPR

Other data protection advice/representation has included:

  • Handling of data breaches
  • Data Sharing: including an innovative public sector scheme to improve services; and, sharing of customer data
  • Data protection compensation (successfully defending a claim)
  • Regular advice on scope and handling of complex or substantial subject access requests
  • Disclosure and use of CCTV data
  • Powers to disclose personal data to another public authority
  • Use of personal data for new purposes
  • Scope of personal data in the energy sector

Damien has successfully defended a data protection compensation claim for a local authority, and advised on and prepared a potential compensation claim.

He also provides training on Subject Access, Data Protection Impact Assessments, the Data Protection Act 2018, and Data Sharing.

Freedom of Information ('FOI') and the Environmental Information Regulations ('EIR')

Damien's cases on the FOI Act and the EIR include:

  • Information rights appeal concerning personal data in the context of social care (appeal withdrawn, Sept 2019)
  • Hastings BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2017/0084 (confidential commercial information in technical reports concerning land)
  • Epsom & Ewell BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2014/0232 (confidential proceedings under the EIR concerning property)
  • LB Southwark v Information Commission and ors, EA/2013/0162 (confidential commercial information concerning public housing in a planning viability assessment) (with Jack Parker)
  • Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and anr, EA/2013/0114 (legal advice and a planning appraisal report about a town centre development)
  • Willem Visser v Information Commissioner and Southwark Council, EA/2012/0125 – (whether information held by a contractor is "held" for the purposes of the FOI Act by the public authority)
  • Wirral MBC v Information Commissioner, EA/2012/0117 (drafts of a report concerning grounds maintenance, background papers and correspondence)
  • Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of the University of Reading, EA/2012/0027 (scope of an EIR request concerning public rights of way)
  • Neath Port Talbot CBC v Information Commissioner, EA/2011/0037 (personal data in lists of addresses of council-owned properties)
  • Digby-Cameron v ICO and ors, EA/2008/0023 and 0025 (FOI exemptions for investigations and proceedings (FOI Act, s 30) and third party personal data (FOI Act, s 40))
  • Boddy v ICO and North Norfolk DC, EA/2007/0074 (legal advice concerning land, under EIR)
  • Urmenyi v Information Commissioner and LB Sutton, EA/2006/0093 (FOI cost limit)

Damien regularly advises on complex FOI/EIR matters, including the handling of major information requests, and investigations by the Information Commissioner. Subjects have included:

Vexatious requests (FOI Act, s14; EIR, Reg 12(4)(b))

  • Advice on interrelationship between FOI request and councillors' rights to access to information
  • Applicable information regimes in the energy sector
  • Application of FOI to parish council business
  • Obligations/preparations arising from extension of FOI to new public authority
  • Application of FOI Act exemptions, including:
    • prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs (s 36)
    • confidential information (s 41)
    • third party personal data (s 40)
    • legal professional privilege (s 42)
    • commercial prejudice (s 43)
  • Application of EIR exceptions, including:
    • manifestly unreasonable requests (Reg 12(4)(b))
    • material in the course of completion, Reg 12(4(d)
    • internal communications (Reg 12(4)(e))
    • the course of justice (Reg 12(5)(b))
    • confidential proceedings (Reg 12(5)(d))
    • confidential commercial information (Reg 12(5)(e))
    • interests of a volunteer (Reg 12 (5)(f))
    • third party personal data (Reg 13)

He has advised on telephone monitoring under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('RIPA 2000').


Damien has written extensively on information law matters. As well as Cornerstone on Information Law, he has contributed jointly to a leading work on Data Protection (see below), and published articles on the following:


Damien also provides training on handling personal data in FOI/EIR requests, and on various aspects of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Cases

Appeal (EA/2019/0137) concerning personal data
12.09.2019
Appeal (EA/2019/0137) concerning personal data in the context of social care – appeal withdrawn. Damien represented the Respondent council.....

Hastings Borough Council v Information Commissioner
26.03.2018
EA/2017/0084 – Damien Welfare represented Hastings Borough Council in a lengthy appeal hearing in the First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights, concerning confidential commercial information in technical reports about land. The appeal....

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council v Information Commissioner
11.02.2015
EA/2014/0232 – Successful appeal concerning the confidentiality of proceedings and other EIR exceptions to disclosure of information concerning property. Determined by a consent order between the appellant local authority and....

Confidentiality of viability assessments in planning
15.05.2014
Confidentiality Of Viability Assessments In Planning: Tribunal Overturns Information Commissioner's Decision That Council Should Disclose Affordable Housing Viability Assessment Submitted As Part Of Planning Application. In a significant decision for local....

LB Southwark v Information Commission, Lend Lease (Elephant and Castle) Ltd, and Adrian Glasspool, First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights
09.05.2014
EA/2013/0162 – Damien Welfare represented LB Southwark (with Jack Parker) in a successful appeal against the decision of the Information Commissioner to order disclosure of a developer's planning viability assessment.....

Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and Beverley Moore
08.01.2014
SEA/2013/0114 – Damien Welfare represented the council in a successful appeal against the disclosure of legal advice and an appraisal report containing confidential commercial information about a town centre development.....

Willem Visser v Information Commissioner and Southwark Council
11.01.2013
EA/2012/0125 – Damien Welfare represented the council in an appeal (heard by written representations) concerning whether information held by a contractor is "held" for the purposes of the FOI Act....

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council v Information Commissioner
22.10.2012
EA/2012/0117 - [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0117 (GRC) – Damien Welfare represented the appellant local authority in a successful appeal (by written representations) against a decision of the Information Commissioner to order....

Keith Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of University of Reading
02.07.2012
EA/2012/0027; [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0027. Successfully represented the University in an appeal concerning the scope of an EIR request for information on public rights of way.....

Neath Port Talbot CBC v Information Commissioner
30.12.2011
EA/2011/0037 – represented local authority in appeal over disclosure of personal data in lists of addresses of council-owned properties.....

Alan Digby-Cameron v Information Commissioner And (1) Bedfordshire Police And (2) Hertfordshire Police
26.01.2009
EA/2008/0023 and 0025 – Damien Welfare represented Hertfordshire Police in an appeal raising exemptions in FOI Act s 30 (investigations and proceedings) and s 40 (third party personal data). The....

Christopher Boddy v ICO and North Norfolk District Council
23.06.2008
EA/2007/0074 (written representations) – Damien Welfare successfully represented the local authority in an appeal by the requester, from a refusal by the Information Commissioner, for access under the EIR to....

William Urmenyi v Information Commissioner and London Borough of Sutton
13.07.2007
EA/2006/0093 – Damien Welfare successfully represented LB Sutton in an appeal concerning the application of the FOI cost limit (FOI Act, s 12) to a request for information about penalty....

News

Brexit and data protection: what you need to know
23.08.2019
By Damien Welfare Brexit and Data Protection: changes ahead How will Brexit affect data protection, and what will happen to the GDPR? If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October this....

ICO intention to fine British Airways £183 million under the GDPR
09.07.2019
By Damien Welfare The announcement that the Information Commissioner's Office ('ICO') intends to fine British Airways £183.39 million for breaches of data protection law is a 'wake-up call' to all controllers of....

Cornerstone on Information Law has been published
04.07.2019
Damien Welfare has published Cornerstone on Information Law, a new book of our Cornerstone on ... series.  The volume focuses on data protection law, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations.....

Damien Welfare comments on Freedom of Information Journal
11.10.2017
Damien Welfare supplies 'expert comment' in the Freedom of information Journal, on two issues: clarification in the Data Protection Bill of the correct lawful basis for answering FOI/EIR requests involving....

Expert Comments on Freedom of Information
17.08.2017
Damien Welfare provides 'expert comment' for the Freedom of Information Journal, published by PDP, on the need for clarification, in the light of the GDPR, of the appropriate lawful basis....

Freedom of Information Journal - Personal data in FOIA/ EIRs requests — changes and developments
06.06.2016
Damien Welfare has authored an article for the Freedom of Information Journal which looks at the application of the personal data exemption to information requests and the potential impacts of....

Privacy and Data Protection Journal: Clarifying the scope of personal data
28.08.2012
In an article for the Privacy & Data Protection Journal, Damien Welfare discusses the challenges for organisations in interpreting the definition of 'personal data' in the Data Protection Act 1998. He....

Events

Zoom webinar - Data Protection and FOI/EIR requests – coming out of lockdown - Your Questions Answered
09.09.2020


This webinar is designed for local authorities, or other public bodies, which may face a backlog of subject access or FOI/EIR requests, as the lockdown begins to ease. Since April, the....

Overview

Damien has long experience in both local government and the law relating to it He worked in local government for almost twenty years before coming to the Bar, including at the Local Government Association (LGA) and the former Association of Metropolitan Authorities (AMA). He also worked for a short period in central government. As a lawyer, he has advised or acted for many local authorities.

Governance and powers issues on which he has advised include:

  • Innovative uses of local authority general powers (the general power of competence, and the former well-being power in England)
  • Decision-making under executive and council functions
  • Changes to executive arrangements and governance structures of local authorities
  • Member participation in decisions
  • Innovative electoral matters
  • The validity of a motion in council
  • Membership of local authority political groups
  • Drafting and interpretation of local authority delegation schemes
  • Drafting and amendment of local authority constitutions
  • Disclosable pecuniary interests of councillors
  • Referendum on council tax
  • Complaints investigation (two major investigations for local authority)
  • The application of standards of conduct to parish councils
  • Relationship of councils' general power of competence with data protection rules
  • Persistent complainants to local authorities
  • The use of council rooms
  • Drafting of by-laws


On local government financial and commercial matters, Damien has advised on:

  • Innovative schemes relating to council tax and council tax benefit
  • Business rate relief
  • Innovative property schemes (eg involving charities)
  • Impact of EU State Aid rules on housing investment plans, and on regeneration
  • Procurement and tendering issues affecting local authorities
  • Trading by local authorities
  • Charging by local authorities
  • Impact of charity law and of European procurement rules on a proposed major transfer of land

Advocacy for local authorities: Damien has successfully represented local government bodies in judicial review applications concerning market trading and conduct matters; a defamation claim (Coates v LB Camden, High Court, January 2018); and, a restitution claim (Lancashire Combined Fire Authority v Burns, High Court, April 2013)

Damien is a contributor to Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct, the definitive guide to local government conduct standards, produced by Cornerstone Barristers. He has contributed the following articles on local government law topics to Westlaw Insight:

  • Local Government Functions: General Power of Competence
  • Local Authority Structure: Executive Arrangements (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government councillors: members' interests (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government councillors: political activities (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government finance: revenue

Damien was a contributing editor on local government topics to Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law (3rd edition).

Cases

Anthony George Coates v LB Camden
22.01.2018
Claim (High Court) HQ17M03026 – Damien Welfare successfully represented Camden Council in defending a High Court defamation claim.....

Cornerstone Barristers takes part in launch of new online legal encyclopaedia
10.12.2012
Members of Cornerstone Barristers have played a leading role in contributing to a new online encyclopaedia, launched on 10th December 2012. The "Westlaw UK Insight" is an online legal encyclopaedia....

News

Remote meetings: FAQs
17.04.2020

Here we will post short answers to some frequently asked questions that have emerged from our two webinars on remote meetings on 8 April 2020 and 20 April 2020.

....

Cornerstone on Councillors’ Conduct
26.06.2015

Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct, the definitive guide to local government standards, produced by Cornerstone Barristers, goes on sale today.

....

Events

Zoom webinar - Workshop on Virtual Meetings
27.05.2020


This webinar was Cornerstone Barristers' third instalment in our series on the new Remote Meetings Regulations. Rather than simply looking at the regulations and providing tips for future meetings, this session....

Overview

Damien has extensive experience in advising local authorities and other public bodies on governance and financial issues (see his Profile under 'Local Government').

He has successfully defended judicial review applications against local authorities on market trading and conduct matters, and a High Court defamation claim against a local authority. He has also successfully represented a local government body in a High Court restitution claim.

All of Damien's work for local authorities, and the public sector generally, is informed by his having worked in local government for almost twenty years before coming to the Bar (where he developed a particular expertise in Parliamentary matters and the structure of legislation); and also for a short period in central government.

Legislative drafting

Damien has drafted a Parliamentary bill for clients concerning contractual matters.

Cases

Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law
21.06.2010
We are pleased to announce the new edition of Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law published by Sweet and Maxwell. The new edition presents a concise definition of each expression which forms....

News

Remote meetings: FAQs
17.04.2020

Here we will post short answers to some frequently asked questions that have emerged from our two webinars on remote meetings on 8 April 2020 and 20 April 2020.

....

Cornerstone on Information Law has been published
04.07.2019
Damien Welfare has published Cornerstone on Information Law, a new book of our Cornerstone on ... series.  The volume focuses on data protection law, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations.....

Overview

Damien has a specialist interest in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 ('EIR').

He has represented local authorities or public bodies successfully in the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) on a number of EIR issues, including: commercially confidential information in a planning viability assessment; a planning appraisal report; a draft committee report, background documents, and surrounding email correspondence, on a grounds maintenance matter; legal advice and information concerning property; and, a request for information on public rights of way.

He has advised extensively on EIR matters, including: the application of the EIR regime to a housing development and a planning viability assessment; commercial confidentiality and scientific monitoring information; a risk analysis of a regeneration project; and, the scope of environmental information and personal data in the energy sector.

Cases on EIR

  • Hastings BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2017/0084 (confidential commercial information in technical reports concerning land)
  • Epsom & Ewell BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2014/0232 (confidential proceedings under the EIR, and legal advice, concerning property)
  • LB Southwark v Information Commission and ors, EA/2013/0162 (confidential commercial information concerning public housing in a planning viability assessment) (with Jack Parker)
  • Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and anr, EA/2013/0114 (legal advice and a planning appraisal report about a town centre development)
  • Wirral MBC v Information Commissioner, EA/2012/0117 (drafts of a report concerning grounds maintenance, background papers and correspondence)
  • Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of the University of Reading, EA/2012/0027 (scope of an EIR request concerning public rights of way)
  • Boddy v ICO and North Norfolk DC, EA/2007/0074 (legal advice concerning land, under EIR)

Damien has written extensively on the EIR and the breadth of their application; and more recently on the leading case of Henney. Cornerstone on Information Law, of which Damien is the author, includes several chapters on the EIR.

He also delivers training on the EIR, their similarities to, and differences from, the FOI Act, and the exceptions to them.

Cases

Hastings Borough Council v Information Commissioner
26.03.2018
EA/2017/0084 – Damien Welfare represented Hastings Borough Council in a lengthy appeal hearing in the First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights, concerning confidential commercial information in technical reports about land. The appeal....

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council v Information Commissioner
11.02.2015
EA/2014/0232 – Successful appeal concerning the confidentiality of proceedings and other EIR exceptions to disclosure of information concerning property. Determined by a consent order between the appellant local authority and....

Confidentiality of viability assessments in planning
15.05.2014
Confidentiality Of Viability Assessments In Planning: Tribunal Overturns Information Commissioner's Decision That Council Should Disclose Affordable Housing Viability Assessment Submitted As Part Of Planning Application. In a significant decision for local....

LB Southwark v Information Commission, Lend Lease (Elephant and Castle) Ltd, and Adrian Glasspool, First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights
09.05.2014
EA/2013/0162 – Damien Welfare represented LB Southwark (with Jack Parker) in a successful appeal against the decision of the Information Commissioner to order disclosure of a developer's planning viability assessment.....

Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and Beverley Moore
08.01.2014
SEA/2013/0114 – Damien Welfare represented the council in a successful appeal against the disclosure of legal advice and an appraisal report containing confidential commercial information about a town centre development.....

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council v Information Commissioner
22.10.2012
EA/2012/0117 - [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0117 (GRC) – Damien Welfare represented the appellant local authority in a successful appeal (by written representations) against a decision of the Information Commissioner to order....

Keith Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of University of Reading
02.07.2012
EA/2012/0027; [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0027. Successfully represented the University in an appeal concerning the scope of an EIR request for information on public rights of way.....

News

Cornerstone Barristers Planning Bulletin - Issue 2
14.04.2020
Welcome to the second edition of the Cornerstone Planning Bulletin, a digestible summary of planning law and practice to help all those with an interest in the planning system to....

Overview

Damien has significant experience in, and a clear appreciation of, the commercial implications of data protection, FOI/EIR and local authority governance issues for both the private and public sectors.

He advises regularly on data protection/GDPR issues, including complex subject access requests. Damien has particular expertise in FOI/EIR requests involving the personal data of third parties. His experience includes:

  • Data sharing: advising on the sharing of personal data between organisations, including customer data, and the drafting of data sharing agreements
  • Personal data: eg advising on the scope of personal data in the context of financial information
  • Data matching: advising on data matching under the GDPR
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment ('DPIA'): advising on the DPIA process under the GDPR
  • Data breaches: advising on handling data breaches
  • Compensation claims: successfully defending a claim against a local authority; and advising on and preparing a potential compensation claim in the banking sector

On Freedom of Information/environmental information ('EIR') requests about commercial matters, Damien's experience includes successfully representing public sector clients in appeals concerning:

  • Confidential commercial information in technical reports about land
  • Confidential commercial information in a planning viability assessment
  • Legal advice and a planning appraisal report concerning a planning development
  • Draft committee documents (and associated officer correspondence) about a contractual process concerning grounds maintenance
  • Property information under the confidential proceedings exception under the EIR
  • Legal advice concerning land

He advises regularly on exemptions from disclosure under FOI/EIR requests, with a particular expertise in relation to commercially sensitive information.

Information law cases concerning commercial matters have included:

  • Hastings BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2017/0084 (confidential commercial information in technical reports concerning land)
  • Epsom & Ewell BC v Information Commissioner, EA/2014/0232 (confidential proceedings under the EIR concerning property)
  • LB Southwark v Information Commission and ors, EA/2013/0162 (confidential commercial information concerning public housing in a planning viability assessment) (with Jack Parker)
  • Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and anr, EA/2013/0114 (legal advice and a planning appraisal report about a town centre development)
  • Willem Visser v Information Commissioner and Southwark Council, EA/2012/0125 – (whether information held by a contractor is "held" for the purposes of the FOI Act by the public authority)
  • Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of the University of Reading, EA/2012/0027 (scope of an EIR request concerning public rights of way)
  • Boddy v ICO and North Norfolk DC, EA/2007/0074 (legal advice concerning land, under EIR)

On local government financial and commercial matters, Damien has advised on:

  • innovative schemes relating to council tax and council tax benefit
  • business rate relief
  • innovative property schemes (eg involving charities)
  • impact of EU State Aid rules on housing investment plans, and on regeneration
  • procurement and tendering issues affecting local authorities
  • trading by local authorities
  • charging by local authorities
  • impact of charity law and of European procurement rules on a proposed major transfer of land

Damien has successfully represented local authorities in judicial reviews of market trading and conduct decisions, and a local government body in a High Court restitution claim.

News

Brexit and data protection: what you need to know
23.08.2019
By Damien Welfare Brexit and Data Protection: changes ahead How will Brexit affect data protection, and what will happen to the GDPR? If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October this....

ICO intention to fine British Airways £183 million under the GDPR
09.07.2019
By Damien Welfare The announcement that the Information Commissioner's Office ('ICO') intends to fine British Airways £183.39 million for breaches of data protection law is a 'wake-up call' to all controllers of....

Cornerstone on Information Law has been published
04.07.2019
Damien Welfare has published Cornerstone on Information Law, a new book of our Cornerstone on ... series.  The volume focuses on data protection law, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations.....

Cornerstone on Information Law

27th September 2019

Damien Welfare has published Cornerstone on Information LawYou can order a copy with a 20% discount by using the code BPLCIL20SM.

The volume focuses on data protection law, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations. Covering the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, the title is up to date with adaptations to UK data protection law in the event of Brexit; while also explaining the law before Brexit, or if it does not occur.

It is an essential reference work for Data Protection Officers/FOI Information Officers and busy in-house lawyers in local authorities and the public sector generally; and, those in large and small businesses with data protection responsibilities. It covers the essential areas for practitioners in this fast-changing framework.

Key topics covered include:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Data Protection Act 2018 (including exemptions from the GDPR)
  • A summary of the regime for law enforcement data processing
  • UK changes to data protection law in the event of Brexit
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004

According to a recent review in 'The Commonwealth Lawyer', the journal of the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association, the book "treats data protection, freedom of information and environmental information legislation with a thoroughness that compliance officers, in both public and private sectors, will find most helpful". 

"This is a book which no one who has serious responsibilities for information handling can afford to ignore". 

Territorial Scope and Terminology

1st March 2018

Damien has contributed a chapter (jointly with Peter Carey) on Territorial Scope and Terminology, in Peter Carey, Data Protection: a practical Guide to UK and EU law, (5th ed, Oxford University Press, 2018) pp. 1-31.

Freedom of Information Journal - Personal data in FOIA/ EIRs requests — changes and developments

6th June 2016

Damien Welfare has authored an article for the Freedom of Information Journal which looks at the application of the personal data exemption to information requests and the potential impacts of the new Data Protection Regulation.

Click here to view the full article.

Westlaw Insight

1st December 2012

The following articles have been published:

  • Local Government Functions: General Power of Competence
  • Local Authority Structure: Executive Arrangements (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government councillors: members' interests (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government councillors: political activities (with Jack Parker)
  • Local government finance: revenue

Learn more about Westlaw Insight

Privacy and Data Protection Journal: Clarifying the scope of personal data

28th August 2012

In an article for the Privacy & Data Protection Journal, Damien Welfare of Cornerstone Barristers, discusses the challenges for organisations in interpreting the definition of 'personal data' in the Data Protection Act 1998, considers the ambiguities created by inconsistencies between domestic case law and guidance on the subject, looks at confusion over the meaning of the Data Protection Act over disclosing anonymised personal data such as statistics, and explains the extent to which a new draft EU Regulation may provide greater clarity.

The Article 'Clarifying the Scope of Personal Data' was published in the July/August Issue of the Privacy & Data Protection Journal (Volume 12, Issue 7).

Click here to view the article.

FOI Journal: the breadth of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs)

1st April 2012

In an article for the Freedom of Information Journal, published by PDP, Damien Welfare of Cornerstone Barristers, discusses the breadth of the application of the EIRs, at the expense of the FOI Act, and asks whether the concept of 'remoteness' should be revisited.
The Article was published in the March/April issue of the Freedom of Information Journal (Volume 8, Issue 4).
Click here to view the article.

Read Full Text

Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law

1st July 2010

Contributing editor to Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law (3rd edition, 2010)

Damien provides training on Information Law to a wide range of lawyers and information law practitioners, for PDP (formerly Privacy and Data Protection), and also for clients through chambers. He is a member of the Examination Board for PDP's Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information.

  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • Human Rights Law Association (HRLA)

News: Public Law and Judicial Review, Local Government

Remote meetings: FAQs

17th April 2020

Here we will post short answers to some frequently asked questions that have emerged from our two webinars on remote meetings on 8 April 2020 and 20 April 2020.

....

News: Planning and Environment

Cornerstone Barristers Planning Bulletin - Issue 2

14th April 2020

Welcome to the second edition of the Cornerstone Planning Bulletin, a digestible summary of planning law and practice to help all those with an interest in the planning system to....

Case: Information Law

Appeal (EA/2019/0137) concerning personal data

12th September 2019

Appeal (EA/2019/0137) concerning personal data in the context of social care – appeal withdrawn. Damien represented the Respondent council.....

News: Information Law, Commercial and Regulatory

Brexit and data protection: what you need to know

23rd August 2019

By Damien Welfare Brexit and Data Protection: changes ahead How will Brexit affect data protection, and what will happen to the GDPR? If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October this....

News: Information Law, Commercial and Regulatory

ICO intention to fine British Airways £183 million under the GDPR

9th July 2019

By Damien Welfare The announcement that the Information Commissioner's Office ('ICO') intends to fine British Airways £183.39 million for breaches of data protection law is a 'wake-up call' to all controllers of....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review, Information Law, Commercial and Regulatory

Cornerstone on Information Law has been published

4th July 2019

Damien Welfare has published Cornerstone on Information Law, a new book of our Cornerstone on ... series.  The volume focuses on data protection law, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations.....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Hastings Borough Council v Information Commissioner

26th March 2018

EA/2017/0084 – Damien Welfare represented Hastings Borough Council in a lengthy appeal hearing in the First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights, concerning confidential commercial information in technical reports about land. The appeal....

Case: Local Government

Anthony George Coates v LB Camden

22nd January 2018

Claim (High Court) HQ17M03026 – Damien Welfare successfully represented Camden Council in defending a High Court defamation claim.....

News: Information Law

Damien Welfare comments on Freedom of Information Journal

11th October 2017

Damien Welfare supplies 'expert comment' in the Freedom of information Journal, on two issues: clarification in the Data Protection Bill of the correct lawful basis for answering FOI/EIR requests involving....

News: Information Law

Expert Comments on Freedom of Information

17th August 2017

Damien Welfare provides 'expert comment' for the Freedom of Information Journal, published by PDP, on the need for clarification, in the light of the GDPR, of the appropriate lawful basis....

News: Information Law

Freedom of Information Journal - Personal data in FOIA/ EIRs requests — changes and developments

6th June 2016

Damien Welfare has authored an article for the Freedom of Information Journal which looks at the application of the personal data exemption to information requests and the potential impacts of....

News: Local Government

Cornerstone on Councillors’ Conduct

26th June 2015

Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct, the definitive guide to local government standards, produced by Cornerstone Barristers, goes on sale today.

....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council v Information Commissioner

11th February 2015

EA/2014/0232 – Successful appeal concerning the confidentiality of proceedings and other EIR exceptions to disclosure of information concerning property. Determined by a consent order between the appellant local authority and....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Confidentiality of viability assessments in planning

15th May 2014

Confidentiality Of Viability Assessments In Planning: Tribunal Overturns Information Commissioner's Decision That Council Should Disclose Affordable Housing Viability Assessment Submitted As Part Of Planning Application. In a significant decision for local....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

LB Southwark v Information Commission, Lend Lease (Elephant and Castle) Ltd, and Adrian Glasspool, First-Tier Tribunal, Information Rights

9th May 2014

EA/2013/0162 – Damien Welfare represented LB Southwark (with Jack Parker) in a successful appeal against the decision of the Information Commissioner to order disclosure of a developer's planning viability assessment.....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Cheshire East BC v Information Commissioner and Beverley Moore

8th January 2014

SEA/2013/0114 – Damien Welfare represented the council in a successful appeal against the disclosure of legal advice and an appraisal report containing confidential commercial information about a town centre development.....

Case: Information Law

Willem Visser v Information Commissioner and Southwark Council

11th January 2013

EA/2012/0125 – Damien Welfare represented the council in an appeal (heard by written representations) concerning whether information held by a contractor is "held" for the purposes of the FOI Act....

Case: Local Government

Cornerstone Barristers takes part in launch of new online legal encyclopaedia

10th December 2012

Members of Cornerstone Barristers have played a leading role in contributing to a new online encyclopaedia, launched on 10th December 2012. The "Westlaw UK Insight" is an online legal encyclopaedia....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council v Information Commissioner

22nd October 2012

EA/2012/0117 - [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0117 (GRC) – Damien Welfare represented the appellant local authority in a successful appeal (by written representations) against a decision of the Information Commissioner to order....

News: Information Law

Privacy and Data Protection Journal: Clarifying the scope of personal data

28th August 2012

In an article for the Privacy & Data Protection Journal, Damien Welfare discusses the challenges for organisations in interpreting the definition of 'personal data' in the Data Protection Act 1998. He....

Case: Planning and Environment, Information Law

Keith Starkey v Information Commissioner and Governing Body of University of Reading

2nd July 2012

EA/2012/0027; [2012] UKFTT EA_2012_0027. Successfully represented the University in an appeal concerning the scope of an EIR request for information on public rights of way.....

Case: Information Law

Neath Port Talbot CBC v Information Commissioner

30th December 2011

EA/2011/0037 – represented local authority in appeal over disclosure of personal data in lists of addresses of council-owned properties.....

Case: Public Law and Judicial Review

Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law

21st June 2010

We are pleased to announce the new edition of Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law published by Sweet and Maxwell. The new edition presents a concise definition of each expression which forms....

Case: Information Law

Alan Digby-Cameron v Information Commissioner And (1) Bedfordshire Police And (2) Hertfordshire Police

26th January 2009

EA/2008/0023 and 0025 – Damien Welfare represented Hertfordshire Police in an appeal raising exemptions in FOI Act s 30 (investigations and proceedings) and s 40 (third party personal data). The....

Case: Information Law

Christopher Boddy v ICO and North Norfolk District Council

23rd June 2008

EA/2007/0074 (written representations) – Damien Welfare successfully represented the local authority in an appeal by the requester, from a refusal by the Information Commissioner, for access under the EIR to....

Case: Information Law

William Urmenyi v Information Commissioner and London Borough of Sutton

13th July 2007

EA/2006/0093 – Damien Welfare successfully represented LB Sutton in an appeal concerning the application of the FOI cost limit (FOI Act, s 12) to a request for information about penalty....