Commercial lawyer to write opinion paper

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Juliette B.
Caroline B. have already sent a proposal.
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Experience Level: Intermediate
We are a Brighton (UK) based marketing services company. Among the services that we offer to UK businesses and charities is the sending of marketing emails to other businesses within the UK. Under UK/EU legislation this is perfectly legal so long as we provide an automatic opt-out facility, company name, registration number and registered office address. We are careful to always be legally compliant.

Occasionally we are contacted by a business trying it on by sending us an invoice for sending them an unsolicited email and we usually tell them where to go (in a nice way!). Now and again someone will threaten to take us to court, and on the one occasion when somebody did, the judge stayed the action, effectively putting the case into limbo. That was over 1 year ago.

Very rarely someone will say that by sending them an email we’re breaching our obligations under the Data Protection Act!!

What we would like is for someone with commercial legal experience to research and write a paper (need not be more than a couple of pages long) establishing the correct legal position with regard to the sending of unsolicited commercial emails from one business to another business with the UK and citing where possible relevant authorities, legislation and case law confirming our position. Also, the law with regard to data protection. We spoke to the Information Commissioner’s office a couple of years back and were told that as we did not store personal data (other than contact data such as an email address, phone number) there was no requirement to register.

We know that it is not legal to send an unsolicited commercial email to an individual (as opposed to a business) without their prior consent. For this reason we delete all generic email addresses such as AOL, Google, Yahoo and Hotmail from our databases, even though a number of small companies use such addresses. It’s just not worth the risk.

But what about, for example, sole traders and partnerships using ‘corporate’ email addresses such as where we have no way of knowing the legal entity of the business when dealing with hundreds of thousands of records.

To assist in this task we are happy to supply copies of all our own researches so that you can use these as your starting point.

We do not have a large budget, and would imagine no more than a day’s work (2 at the most) is involved.

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