PRIVACY NOTICE FOR CLIENTS AND OTHER CONTACTS
In our role as solicitors we receive a lot of private and confidential information. This document details how we look after that information.
On 25th May 2018 a new law came into place. It is known as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPRs). There is a lot of jargon used within the GDPRs, but basically this is about how personal information about individuals is collected, used and looked after. There are other regulations called the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECRs) which address how information concerning companies is processed. This document sets out the detail about how the personal information provided by you will be used and looked after and explains your rights in relation to it. Personal information can be provided to us by individuals in relation to their own personal transactions such as buying or selling a house or in relation to Will drafting but can also be provided by those representing businesses when we are receiving instructions on behalf of the business. We may also receive personal information from those with whom we are dealing but who are not clients. These may for example be prospective clients, suppliers, provider of services to us and those working for another party in relation to a transaction.
Our commitment to you
Our commitment is to:-
- Keep personal information provided by you safe and private.
- Not use personal information for any purposes other than in connection with undertaking work for you, for the effective running of our business, for account management purposes, keeping you informed of information about our business, as required by our Regulators and the law and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of this Privacy Notice;
- Make it easy for you to approach us if you have any concerns or questions relating to the holding of personal information.
Who we are and how we operate
Davies and Partners Solicitors Limited was initially formed as a partnership in 1988. It converted to a limited company at the start of 2017. It provides a full range of legal services to both individuals and businesses and currently operates from four offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Gloucester and London.
How information is collected from you
We will collect personal information directly from you. This will often be when we are dealing with your questions about the services which we provide or start acting for you. Further personal information will be collected whilst work proceeds. Information may be collected by face-to-face meetings, by telephone, by email or other electronic communications or from information which you provide to us via our website. Please ensure that all personal information is accurately provided as the information which is held is only as accurate as the information provided in the first place. If you are not a client we may, for example, obtain information about you when considering using you as a supplier or when we receive an initial communication from you.
It is possible that we may obtain information about you from other sources, for example if we are informed by someone else that they have recommended you to us or we receive information as a result of regulatory checks which we are required to carry out or when information is provided to us by others involved in the work which we are carrying out for you.
What personal information will we collect from you?
When acting for individuals we are required to collect such information as is necessary to comply with legal requirements such as the Money Laundering Legislation. This means that we will require information to verify your identity. Similar requirements apply when we are acting for businesses when we are required to ascertain the identity of key individuals. The requirements of the Money Laundering Legislation are quite extensive and mean that we are likely to require information concerning the source of funds in relation to transactional work.
We will also require contact details such as:-
- Telephone number;
- Date of birth;
- Email address.
We will also collect such personal information as we reasonably require from you in order to effectively carry out the work which you require us to do.
Who will personal information be provided to?
We will not provide your personal information to anyone, save for our employees, other than in the circumstances set out at 7 and 8 below or where you consent to us doing so.
What about outsourcing?
We will pass personal information to other organisations from time to time, not for them to use for their own benefit but rather to assist us. This might include holding personal information to assist in the efficient administration and running of our business and to assist with customer relationship management, accounting and regulatory purposes and the holding and processing of information in electronic form including its storage and maintenance.
What will the personal information be used for?
- To fulfil our contractual obligations towards you:-
- To progress the matter, or matters, upon which you have instructed us.
- To properly record the progress of the matter, or matters, in respect of which you have instructed us.
- To regulate the quality of the work performed on your behalf.
- We may from time to time provide personal information to those outside of Davies and Partners to assist us in providing this service to you. For example, sometimes we may wish to obtain an expert’s report which will assist your position and, in some situations, a medical report. We may also wish to engage a barrister for a specific opinion in relation to a legal matter or to represent you in Court or Tribunal. When an outside person is engaged in such circumstances, we will liaise with you about this.
- To report to our insurers where necessary.
- If you are not a client, we may have a relationship as a supplier or buyer, and we need your details in order to liaise and fulfil the contractual commitments.
- To ensure vital interests: –
It is not likely that we will use personal information for these purposes. This will only apply if we have information about your health and a medical emergency arises, such information may then be used to ensure your health and safety.
- When it is our legal obligation
We may be required to provide information to Regulators, auditors, accountants and in very rare circumstances to local or public authorities including the police.
- When legitimate interests apply
It is possible that from time to time we may wish to communicate with clients, prospective clients and contacts concerning matters which may be of interest to you. The nature of such contact will be: –
- To inform you of any changes to our services or new services.
- To provide updates in relation to the law which may be of interest or relevance to you.
- To communicate about offers, promotions or seminars which we may be providing;
- To communicate other developments at Davies and Partners;
We will not communicate to you under this heading where there is any perceived detriment to you in receiving the communication.
If you do not wish to receive communications under this heading please contact the solicitor responsible for the work or alternatively Amanda Bell () who is secretary to Nigel Tillott. In making contact please confirm the type of communications listed which you do not wish to receive or that you do not wish to receive any communications of the type listed.
We may also use personal information for research and development, performance analysis, training and otherwise with a view to improving the services we offer. We will not process any personal information under this head where there is any perceived detriment to you in us doing so, but again if you have any concern about this please contact either Amanda Bell or Nigel Tillott as above.
What happens if I don’t wish to provide personal information to Davies and Partners Solicitors?
We seek personal information for the purposes set out above including the need for information concerning your identity and contact details as well as legally required information in order to act for you or to work with you or liaise with you. We will also require all information necessary in order to us to effectively advance the matter if you are a client of ours . Without the information listed in this paragraph relating to identity we will not be able to undertake work for you or at least not be able to do so effectively.
How long will Davies and Partners Solicitors keep personal information for?
We will only retain personal information: –
- For as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes it was collected for as set out in this Privacy Notice.
- In relation to those that enquire about the services which we are able to provide but don’t then instruct us we would not normally keep that information for longer than six months after the last communication from the enquirer.
- Concerning the matter in relation to which you instruct us for a period following conclusion of this matter. In most cases this period will be 7 years but there are certain circumstances in which the period may be longer in accordance with the recommendation of the Law Society, our regulator, in order that we can address any questions which may subsequently arise concerning the matter including in rare cases where there is dispute.
- Following conclusion of a matter in nearly all cases, documents are filed using a secure cloud server. In some cases where the particular needs of the work require paper copies may be retained as well. For matters commencing prior to January 2020 it is more likely that a physical copy of the documentation will be retained.
- In some circumstances you have the right to request erasure of personal information held. This will be addressed below.
- If you are not a client of ours, but we enter into a contractual relationship we are likely to retain information relating to that relationship for up to 7 years after its termination.
Your rights in relation to the information held in relation to you
- Access – the right to make what is known as a Subject Access Request to obtain a copy of the personal information which we hold about you. If you make such a request we are required, in most circumstances, to provide a copy of the personal information without charge and within 30 days.
You may also seek confirmation of the nature of personal information which we hold about you without seeking a copy of the information itself.
- Correction – it is important that you keep us up to date with any changes to the personal information provided. Subject to that you have the right to ask us to correct or complete any inaccurate or incomplete data held about you. It is possible that evidence will be required of the new information provided.
- Erasure – you are entitled to ask us to delete or remove personal information held where there is no good reason for us to continue to hold it. It may not always be possible to comply with your request due to ongoing obligations in relation to the personal information. Where this is the case you will be informed and be told of the reasons why it is not possible to comply with the request.
- Object to processing – you may object to us processing personal information. There are some circumstances in which it will not be possible to comply with your request, for example if it is necessary to process the information in connection with obligations which we have and which have been explained to you in this document. If you object to us processing information which has been processed under the legitimate interest head, we will stop processing it.
- Restriction of processing – you may ask us to suspend processing of personal information in the following situations: –
- If you want the data accuracy to be established.
- Where the use of the personal information is unlawful, but you do not want it to be erased;
- You need the data to be held even though we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise, or defend legal claims; or
- You have objected to the use of the data by us, but we need time to determine whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to process it.
- Request the transfer of information – sometimes rights apply to request a transfer of personal information held to other organisations, such as a newly instructed solicitor. This right only applies to personal information that is processed by automated means and is held because it was necessary for the performance of the contract with you or personal information which is processed on the basis of your consent.
Keeping personal information safe
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent the personal information provided from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. Access to personal information is limited to those employees and contractors who have a business need to know the personal information. Personal information will only be processed upon instructions from ourselves. Procedures have been put in place to deal with any suspected breach of the requirements under the GDPRs. You and/or the Regulator referred to below will be notified of any potentially significant breach.
Like most law firms we operate a cloud-based filing system. This means that if you are a client, your case file and information is held on a secure cloud server. This allows us to access information from each office. Our cloud-based system is hosted by DPS Software. In certain situations, depending upon the nature of the work we are undertaking paper documents are used and retained.
What happens if you want to complain?
It is hoped that you will not have cause to complain. If you do complaints should be referred to Nigel Tillott in the first place where possible. In the event that it is not possible or appropriate to refer a complaint to Nigel Tillott it may be referred to the Regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) whose address is: –
Information Commissioner’s Office
- It is not anticipated that any personal information will be transferred outside of the European Union. We will notify you if this position changes.
- We don’t anticipate using automated decision making in relation to the personal information provided.
If I have any questions who do I ask?
Please ask the individual with responsibility for dealing with your matter. If this person cannot help or if it is inappropriate to contact him or her then please contact Nigel Tillott.
Dated 9th May 2018
Further updated 12th October 2020
Re-reviewed 11th August 2023
33-34 Paradise Street
Tel: 0121 616 4450
250 Aztec West
Tel: 01454 619619
Tel: 01452 612345
57 Queen Anne Street
Tel: 0207 486 2908
Tel: 01271 533747