Aderant says that it is “working with the client” after it this month came under fire from RollonFriday for posting confidential Watson, Farley & Williams client and partner information on YouTube.

According to the legal news and gossip website, the five-and-a-half-minute video showed someone with administrator-level access moving around the shipping firm’s website demonstrating various features. Three minutes in, the cursor opens a ‘Business Development' section which reveals a list of ‘Deals' and a list of ‘Pitches'. Several matters are shown, two of which are labelled explicitly as ‘Confidential'.

The video also takes a look at Watson Farley’s billing system, revealing client names and the matters that the firm was working on. Details of client invoices are also shown and the balances on client account.

A third video is reported to show lawyer utilisation rates, specifically naming two Watson Farley partners.

While RollonFriday reports that the footage was uploaded in 2017 by an employee of Aderant, we understand that it was an employee of Handshake Software prior to its acquisition by Aderant. It had been viewed 17 times.

Our understanding is that it was uploaded as a private video – undiscoverable by search – but can be viewed once the link has been shared.

The video was deleted from YouTube within hours of RollOnFriday alerting WFW.

Watson Farley said in a statement sent to RollonFriday and later to Legal IT Insider that the video was created and uploaded by Aderant “without the knowledge or consent of WFW.” The video was created for internal use to demonstrate some of the UI/UX features developed for WFW. The firm said:

“We take data breaches very seriously and are concurrently conducting our own investigations including, among other things, action relating to breach of confidentiality on the part of the supplier. We take this opportunity of reminding third parties that the information contained in the video is confidential and should not be disseminated. The video or any parts of it should be deleted.” 

A spokesperson for Aderant said:

“We are working with the client on this matter. The video was uploaded by an employee of a business prior to our acquisition. All Aderant employees, including those coming from acquisitions, are trained annually in data privacy regulations and responsibilities and are required to be familiar with and sign our GDPR-compliant data privacy policy.”