The Society continues to receive enquiries, especially from criminal practitioners, about whether they should have notified the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act.

All solicitors should notify the ICO and risk a substantial fine if they do not. In particular, taking up the new Crown Office disclosure procedures - by electronic means called Pendrive - means it is essential for a solicitor's practice to notify.

The ICO is targeting unregistered solicitors' and accountants' firms on a regional basis and has contacted legal firms across Scotland. The ICO has previously stated that as many as one third of solicitors' firms may still be unregistered. Letters have been sent to advise firms that they are not registered. If there is no response within three weeks, a second letter warns that failure to reply within a further 14 days will result in details being passed on to the investigations team.

This obligation extends to any outsourced providers of your services.