Navigating data protection reforms | An insight from Charles Russell Speechlys

Creating and managing customer relationships is key to the luxury experience: by building up a wealth of data and information – previous purchases, past visits, personal preferences – on each and every customer who steps through your doors or visits your website, companies are able to offer a truly bespoke, highly personalised approach which is beneficial to both brand and consumer. However, the law on how this information is used and managed is changing – in what could have huge implications for the industry.

Walpole corporate partner, law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, has created an invaluable guide to navigating the EU General Data Protection RegulationPreparing your Business for Data Protection Reform.

Finally, after three years of discussions and negotiations, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been agreed.

The GDPR will replace the current Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (Directive) and will take direct effect in all Member States without the need for local implementing legislation. The GDPR will apply from 25th May 2018.

On 23rd June 2016, the UK population voted to leave the EU in a national referendum. The formal Article 50 notice to leave the UK was given by the UK Government to the European Council on 29th March 2017, meaning that the official exit will not take place until at least March 2019. Therefore, the GDPR will already have taken effect by the time the UK leaves the EU. However, regardless of the political future of the UK, one thing is certain: if the UK wishes to continue benefiting from the EU Digital Single Market, it will have to enact the GDPR, in some form or other.

On 7th August 2017 the UK Government published a statement of intent on its planned Data Protection Bill, due to be published in Autumn 2017, which confirms the intention for the future UK legislation to reflect the provisions of the GDPR. We are therefore recommending all UK companies to continue with their GDPR compliance programmes.

Please click here to download and read Preparing your Business for Data Protection Reform in full.

For more information, please contact Jonathan McDonald, Senior Associate at CRS, on +44 (0)20 7427 6725 or, or visit