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Symatrix/Arup Data Breach

On 22nd March 2021, the design and engineering firm Arup informed some of its current and former employees that its third-party payroll provider had suffered a cybersecurity breach. The breach resulted in a range of sensitive information being exposed. This included bank details and National Insurance numbers.

The cyberattack took place on 12th January 2021. However, the payroll provider, Symatrix Ltd, has not announced which of its customers were affected. At present, only Arup have publicly acknowledged the breach.

If you are or have been an employee of Arup, your data may have been exposed by the breach. Further, if you work for a company that has also used Symatrix for its payroll services, you may also be affected. If so, you could be entitled to compensation. Here at HNK Solicitors, we have helped a wide range of clients seek compensation for data breaches. Our experienced team can help you reach the outcome you deserve.

Arup was notified about the data breach on 11th March 2021. In a statement, Symatrix confirmed that their internal network had been targeted in a cyberattack in January. Their subsequent investigation revealed that a “small number” of their customers were affected. These customers have been notified directly. However, they have not been named publicly.

Subsequently, Arup notified the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the incident. The ICO’s investigation concluded that no regulatory action would be taken against Arup. However, the ICO’s investigation into Symatrix is ongoing.

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How do I know if I've been affected by the Symatrix/Arup data breach?

If you have worked for Arup and are affected by the breach, you should have been notified by them directly. If you were paid by Arup during the above periods and have not been contacted, you may still have been affected. To be certain, you should get in touch with Arup as soon as possible.


Unfortunately, Symatrix has not specified which of their other customers were affected. However, as they have notified these customers directly, you should have been notified in turn if your data was exposed. If your company uses Symatrix and you have not been contacted, it may be worth checking with your employer.

If you are concerned you may have been affected, it is vital that you take steps to keep yourself safe. You should keep an eye on your bank account and immediately report any unusual transactions. Also, you should be wary of any emails or phone calls you receive. This is especially true if they seem to be from organisations such as your bank. Stolen data can be used to impersonate a trusted organisation and thereby gather even more information from you.


These sophisticated “phishing” attacks can be extremely convincing. That’s why extra care is necessary. If you have any concerns about an email or a phone call, go directly to the website of the organisation in question. You can use the contact details there to check that any communication is legitimate.

Case Study

Data breach concept image, a laptop on a table with a warning symbol on screen and white text saying data breach

HNK Solicitors secure £7,000 in data breach claim against Cheshire Council East

Recently, HNK Solicitors acted on behalf of a client, who will be referred to as SH, in a data breach claim against Cheshire East Council. The data breach occurred after SH was subject to an anonymous complaint regarding their children. Although the complaint was not upheld, during the initial investigation Cheshire East Council, the Defendant, divulged personal data, and the context of the complaint with an unauthorised person(s). This is a clear breach of SH’s...
Read More

What data has been stolen in the Symatrix/Arup data breach?

When contacting those affected, Arup indicated that the following data had been compromised.

Firstly, for anyone paid between 1st November 2018 and 1st February 2020:


  • Full name
  • Bank account number
  • Sort code
  • Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Gender
  • Date of birth

Secondly, for anyone paid between 1st February 2020 and 31st January 2021:


  • Surname
  • Bank account number
  • Sort code

In either case, the specific nature of the data exposed could lead to major consequences. Cybercriminals are adept at using personal data to engage in identity theft, for instance. Such theft can lead to financial losses. It can also result in criminal activity being conducted in your name.


But even the simple fact of your private data being made available to others can lead to distress and anxiety. This is why it is so important that companies handling or storing personal data take steps to ensure the data is safeguarded. If they fail to do so, they should be held to account.

HNK Solicitors can help you claim compensation

If your data has been exposed through the Symatrix/Arup data breach, you could be entitled to compensation. This is especially so because the data stolen was extensive and highly sensitive. As a result, the potential consequences are more severe.


However, it is not the case that you must have suffered financial losses as a result of the breach in order to claim. The UK’s data protection regulations stress that you can claim compensation for any distress or inconvenience caused by a breach.


The process of starting a claim is simple. At HNK Solicitors, we offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your case and advise you on whether you can claim. If we do think you have a valid claim, we can offer to take it up on a no-win, no-fee basis.


Data breaches are significant events with potentially long-lasting and painful consequences. If you have been affected by one, it’s important that you get all the help you need to move on. This includes compensation. Contact HNK Solicitors to discuss your case. Use the contact form on our website or call us on 0151 668 0814.

Free Consultation

Contact HNK to arrange a free no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your claim. We will provide honest, helpful advice on how to progress further.

No-win, no-fee

We can support you on a no-win, no-fee basis, which means you’ll only have to pay us once your case is won and your compensation has been awarded.

Recent Data Breaches we can help with

You may remember recent data breaches that were highly publicized in the media from British Airways, MyFitnessPal, Ticketmaster, Marriot Hotels, and Dixons Carphone. If you have been affected by any of these, contact HNK today.


Call us on - 0151 203 1104 | Email us at - enquiries@hnksolicitors.com
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