When we use your personal data we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.
It would be helpful to start by explaining some key terms used in this policy:
Personal data we collect about you
The table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.
This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.
How your personal data is collected
We collect most of this information from you, direct or via our secure online client portal. However, we may also collect information:
- from publicly accessible sources, eg Companies House or HM Land Registry;
- directly from a third party, eg:
- sanctions screening providers;
- credit reference agencies;
- client due diligence providers;
- from a third party with your consent, eg:
- your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;
- consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;
- your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;
- your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;
- via our information technology (IT) systems, eg:
- case management, document management and time recording systems;
- door entry systems and reception logs;
- automated monitoring of our websites and other technical systems, such as our computer networks and connections, CCTV and access control systems, communications systems, email and instant messaging systems;
How and why we use your personal data
Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, eg:
- to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract;
- for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or
- where you have given consent.
A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.
The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:
The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.
We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text message, telephone or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services or products.
We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for promotional purposes (see above ‘How and why we use your personal data’). This means we do not usually need your consent to send you promotional communications. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this consent separately and clearly.
We will always treat your personal data with the utmost respect and never sell it to other organisations for marketing purposes.
You have the right to opt out of receiving promotional communications at any time by contacting us.
We may ask you to confirm or update your marketing preferences if you instruct us to provide further services in the future, or if there are changes in the law, regulation, or the structure of our business.
Who we share your personal data with
We routinely share personal data with:
- professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, eg barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;
- other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, eg your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
- credit reference agencies;
- our insurers and brokers;
- external auditors, eg in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
- our bank;
- claims management companies;
- external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, eg typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers;
We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.
We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.
Where your personal data is held
Information may be held at our offices and those of our third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘Who we share your personal data with’).
Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: ‘Transferring your personal data out of the EEA’.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:
- to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
- to show that we treated you fairly;
- to keep records required by law.
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data.
Transferring your personal data out of the EEA
To deliver services to you, it is sometimes necessary for us to share your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), eg:
- with our offices outside the EEA;
- with your and our service providers located outside the EEA;
- if you are based outside the EEA;
- where there is an international dimension to the matter in which we are advising you.
These transfers are subject to special rules under European and UK data protection law.
Non-EEA countries do not have the same data protection laws as the United Kingdom and EEA. We will, however, ensure the transfer complies with data protection law and all personal data will be secure. Our standard practice is to use standard data protection contract clauses which have been approved by the European Commission.
If you would like further information please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ below).
You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:
For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.
If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:
- email, call or write to us;
- let us have enough information to identify you eg your full name, address and client or matter reference number;
- let us have proof of your identity and address (a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and
- let us know what right you want to exercise and the information to which your request relates.
Keeping your personal data secure
We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
If you want detailed information from Get Safe Online on how to protect your information and your computers and devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other online problems, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.
How to complain
We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.
The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone: 0303 123 1113.
We may change this policy from time to time, when we do we will inform you via our website or any other method we deem appropriate.
How to contact us
Our contact details are shown below: