Pioneering Barnsley law firm expands

Published 16th June 2015 at 9:36am

A pioneering law firm which set up in Barnsley, Sheffield City Region, just over a year ago has expanded into new offices and taken on a practice manager.

DigitalLawUK, which is believed to be the only specialist digital law firm in the UK, gives advice on digital issues from data protection and copyright to social media policies and Freedom of Information.

The company, which was set in the Digital Media Centre by solicitor Peter Wright and his wife, US attorney Heather Anson, in March 2014, has moved in to a bigger office in the same building and taken on practice manager, Stephen Bailey.

The firm, which is being given free advice by support programme Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Council, expects turnover in the second year to be double the first and there are plans to take on apprentices in the autumn.

DigitalLawUK has clients across Europe, the US and Canada. About two-thirds are in the creative and digital industries sector, but Peter said they were taking on an increasing number in the financial and legal sectors.

“It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you need to make sure you comply with all the rules surrounding data and keeping it safe. And the laws are very complex. Getting it wrong can be costly and can damage your reputation,” said Peter.

“One area that is definitely on the increase is dealing with cyber attacks. And you have to remember with those that if you lose data you may get sued by the people whose data you have lost. So these are areas you need to take seriously, no matter what your business.”

Peter, who regularly speaks at national conferences, has been commissioned by the Law Society of England and Wales to draft a cyber security guide for law firms.

DigitalLawUK is also developing an app for clients, with the support of Enterprising Barnsley. The specialist business coaches have also helped the firm with marketing, branding and business strategy.

“Enterprising Barnsley has been fantastic,” said Peter. “The business would not be in the position it is now without it. To think we have come this far in just over a year is amazing.”

Steve Hawkins, of Enterprising Barnsley, said: “This firm is truly unique and it shows that a brilliant idea can really flourish given the right support.

“It’s also great to that they set up home in the Digital Media Centre and decided to stay there. It just shows it is a great place for creative and digital industries to start and grow.”

Enterprising Barnsley offers a wide range of free business support to small and medium-sized businesses with growth potential. The programme is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £3,015,276 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme