Most law firms will carry out marketing to some extent. If law firms are gathering personal contact details through their websites, then they must have information describing what is happening to the contact details that they are collecting and how they will be used.

If law firms are carrying out any direct marketing activities using email addresses i.e. sending newsletters or invitations to seminars etc, then they must also comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. These Regulations generally require that consent is in place before direct marketing emails are sent to individuals, although not in a business to business context – see below. From 25 May 2018, consent had to be GDPR compliant and this applied to marketing databases that were already in existence.

Law firms can send direct marketing emails to existing individual clients without consent as long as:

  • They provided the individual with the option of opting out of receiving such marketing messages at the time the data was collected, and
  • They provide an opt-out every time a marketing message is sent

These rules do not apply to business-to-business marketing and so sending an email to named member of staff at an organisation does not require consent. You must always allow the business contact to choose to opt out of hearing from you.