General Privacy Notice
As solicitors, we have always been very careful about how we use information. Our duty of confidentiality to our clients, for example, is a fundamental principle. We also have to comply with data protection laws about how we use the information you provide to us.
This notice explains what information we might hold about you and what we will do with it. If you are a client, you will receive a different privacy notice from us and you should disregard this document. If you have not received it, please ask us to send it to you.
What information do we hold?
We will hold any information that you provide to us in relation to work we are doing for our clients. Because of our duty to act in our clients’ best interests, we cannot withhold that information from our clients except in extreme circumstances, so you must not tell us anything if you do not want it to be disclosed.
If we have to contact you as part of the work we are doing for our clients, we will hold your contact details. We may obtain that information from our client, from you or from other sources. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the information is accurate but will not routinely update this information after the work is completed.
We will sometimes receive information about you from other sources, including from our client. Sometimes, the information will be confidential to our client, in which case we will not be permitted to disclose it without our client’s agreement.
If we provide information to you about our services, or preliminary advice so that you can consider whether to use our services, we may retain information about you and about the information or advice given.
We may ask somebody who is not our client to provide information and documentary evidence about their identity and financial circumstances if we consider it necessary as part of our anti-money laundering enquiries. You may choose not to provide that information, but if you decline it may prevent us from progressing the work we are undertaking for our client.
In connection with our day-to-day business activities, we may hold information about you if it is relevant to our business relationship with you, organisations connected with you or activities involving or related to you.
Telephone calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
How do we use your data?
Most of the data we receive will be used to progress the work we are doing for our clients, so that we can undertake our day-to-day business activities or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
If it is relevant to the work we are doing for our client, we may share information about you with our client or others for that purpose. In any other circumstances, information will be disclosed to others if we consider it appropriate for purposes connected with our business activities.
When might information about you be disclosed?
Sometimes it will be obvious that we have to provide information about you to another person. For example, we have to provide information to the court, the other parties, barristers and experts working on our client’s behalf, etc., if we are acting in litigation; in a property transaction, we may need to provide information to other parties in the transaction, estate agents, search providers, lenders, etc.
We also work with trusted third parties in ways that are indirectly linked to the services we provide and, in doing so, information about you might be shared with them. This may include, for example, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Legal Ombudsman, independent auditors, suppliers of IT services and our insurance company.
We will use information in this way because we and/or our clients have a legitimate interest in doing so, as it is necessary in order to operate our business and provide our services. We will limit any disclosure to information reasonably required to achieve the objective.
We will also make any disclosures that are required by law.
How long will we keep information about you?
We will normally keep information relating to our work for up to 15 years from when our work comes to an end. This is so that it can be reviewed if a need arises to look back at the work we did. After that period, we will not normally retain information about anyone who is not our client.
Any other information will be retained only for as long as is reasonably necessary. This will depend on the circumstances, but you may ask us at any time to forget about you. If you do, we will delete all electronically held information relating to you or we will explain to you why we do not consider it appropriate to do so.
Where telephone calls are recorded, they will normally be deleted within 6 to 12 months, depending on storage capacity.
Newsletters and marketing activities
We will not share your personal data with third parties for their marketing purposes.
If we offer to keep you informed about legal issues or services that might be of interest to you, we will only provide such information to you if you consent. You are free to opt out at any time, and if we do contact you in this way we will provide information about how to unsubscribe or update your preferences.
What to do if you have any concerns
If you have any concerns about the way your data is used, please let us know so that we can investigate and consider if we can do anything to resolve your concerns. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
If you are not a client, we recommend that you contact us about any concerns, or in connection with any subject access request or request to be forgotten, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please write to the Compliance Office (COLP) at our Registered Office address.
Calls to our offices may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes:
- in order to assess compliance with regulatory requirements
- to assess that quality of our service
- to detect unauthorised use
- to establish the existence of facts.
We only gather information about you through our websites if you choose to give it to us by using one of our online forms or sending us an email. The information you give us might include your name and contact details and information about any transaction or case you would like our assistance with.
We will only use that information for the following purposes:
- so that we can contact you by phone, email or post if you ask us to give you advice or to tell you how we can help you
- so that we may keep a record of our communications with you in case you contact us again
- so that we can keep you informed about legal issues or services that might be of interest to you if you ask us to.
We will assume that you agree to be contacted by phone, email or post if you provide us with that contact information. Although we will do all that we can to protect the security of your information, remember that email and the internet are not secure means of communication.