Yes; emails sent to the company may result in risk or liability to the company and therefore may be retained, even if their content is not business-related. The private email sent by Claire Swire to an employee of Norton Rose is a good example of a ‘personal’ email that had a huge impact on the business, and illustrates the fact that personal as well as business email sent to a company’s email domain can carry risk and liability and therefore can be retained.

(Background: in 2000 Claire Swire sent her then boyfriend Bradley Chaite, an employee at Norton Rose, a personal email containing sexual references. Chaite passed the email around his colleagues, they sent it to people outside the organisation, and Norton Rose suffered substantial reputational damage as a direct result. This is a perfect case illustrating that an organisation should regard EVERY email sent to and from its mail domain as a potential liability and have a clear policy of preserving ALL email)

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